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TAKING A LOOK AT MENTAL HEALTH


In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we reached out to our Kaged ambassadors to share how they incorporate fitness into their lives to support not just their physical, but also mental, wellbeing. We hope their stories and tips can help the rest of the Kaged community.



How does working out help you to relieve mental health issues?

As someone who has struggled heavily with depression and anxiety, I can honestly say that working out has been the single most important weapon in my arsenal to combat mental health issues outside of my faith. Depression feeds on your own insecurities and the dark parts of your mind that tell you things like “you can't do it” or “you'll always be overweight and you’ll never reach your goal.” Those negative thoughts make it incredibly difficult to get off the couch, break the cycle, and make the change.

What I found in the beginning of my weight loss journey was that even on my worst days, I felt infinitely better about myself after a workout. My depression told me I was a loser, but every time I hit the gym I felt like a winner afterwards even if I did it badly like the beginner that I was. It was a tiny victory that I stacked over and over, day after day... I've never felt better in my life both physically and mentally. The confidence that I've gained is now extending far beyond the gym and all of that has starved my depression to death. There's nothing negative left for it to feed on.

-Mario Lomuscio (@supermario5020)


How does working out help you relieve mental
health issues?

Working out is my hour, everyday. It's the only time I am allowed to focus only on myself. It's a time to compartmentalize and filter my thoughts. Working out also helps tremendously with stress management. Nothing compares to lifting heavy when you're stressed. Stress is usually caused by things out of our control, so setting the stage for each day with an hour of focused control over your thoughts and body is empowering.

-Danielle Smith (@fit.dani_and.dogs)


How does working out help you relieve mental
health issues?

I have suffered my entire life with eating disorders if I am utterly honest... Working out led me to learn about how important nutrients were and how important food was/is. It has helped give me insight into myself and ease the mental push that tells me to follow my old rules on food. It has also helped me see that food was never the enemy; my thought process was. Finally, it has pushed me to research how food fuels our bodies and why we need to eat certain things.

 

And while initially working out was a way to take control of at least one aspect of my life, weight, and food, it grew into my stress relief. Of course, when I feel like I am at my wit's end, I can turn to the gym, yoga, cardio, or any type of exercise. And while doing so, I find that happy place where the endorphins are released. While my stress is still there, it begins to feel not quite so big.

-Jessi Dudzinski (@belletora)


How does working out help you to relieve mental health issues?

As someone who has struggled heavily with depression and anxiety, I can honestly say that working out has been the single most important weapon in my arsenal to combat mental health issues outside of my faith. Depression feeds on your own insecurities and the dark parts of your mind that tell you things like “you can't do it” or “you'll always be overweight and you’ll never reach your goal.” Those negative thoughts make it incredibly difficult to get off the couch, break the cycle, and make the change.

What I found in the beginning of my weight loss journey was that even on my worst days, I felt infinitely better about myself after a workout. My depression told me I was a loser, but every time I hit the gym I felt like a winner afterwards even if I did it badly like the beginner that I was. It was a tiny victory that I stacked over and over, day after day... I've never felt better in my life both physically and mentally. The confidence that I've gained is now extending far beyond the gym and all of that has starved my depression to death. There's nothing negative left for it to feed on.

-Mario Lomuscio (@supermario5020)


How does working out help you relieve mental
health issues?

Working out is my hour, everyday. It's the only time I am allowed to focus only on myself. It's a time to compartmentalize and filter my thoughts. Working out also helps tremendously with stress management. Nothing compares to lifting heavy when you're stressed. Stress is usually caused by things out of our control, so setting the stage for each day with an hour of focused control over your thoughts and body is empowering.

-Danielle Smith (@fit.dani_and.dogs)


How does working out help you relieve mental
health issues?

I have suffered my entire life with eating disorders if I am utterly honest... Working out led me to learn about how important nutrients were and how important food was/is. It has helped give me insight into myself and ease the mental push that tells me to follow my old rules on food. It has also helped me see that food was never the enemy; my thought process was. Finally, it has pushed me to research how food fuels our bodies and why we need to eat certain things.

 

And while initially working out was a way to take control of at least one aspect of my life, weight, and food, it grew into my stress relief. Of course, when I feel like I am at my wit's end, I can turn to the gym, yoga, cardio, or any type of exercise. And while doing so, I find that happy place where the endorphins are released. While my stress is still there, it begins to feel not quite so big.

-Jessi Dudzinski (@belletora)


WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO
MAY BE STRUGGLING TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO
IMPROVE THEIR MENTAL HEALTH?

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO MAY BE STRUGGLING TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO IMPROVE THEIR MENTAL HEALTH?

"Fitness and food go hand in hand, so the most significant piece of advice I can give is this: do your research and have fun. The trick is not letting the gym or the desire to change yourself control you."

-Mario L.

Elevate your fitness:

"Never feel less-than for asking for help. It takes a stronger person to reach out then it does to say or do nothing. Everyone struggles with some aspect of mental health, you're not alone, and there are people that can help."

- Danielle S.

Elevate your fitness:

"Fitness and food go hand in hand, so the most significant piece of advice I can give is this: do your research and have fun. The trick is not letting the gym or the desire to change yourself control you."

- Jessi D.

Elevate your fitness:

"Fitness and food go hand in hand, so the most significant piece of advice I can give is this: do your research and have fun. The trick is not letting the gym or the desire to change yourself control you."

-Mario L.

"Never feel less-than for asking for help. It takes a stronger person to reach out then it does to say or do nothing. Everyone struggles with some aspect of mental health, you're not alone, and there are people that can help."

- Danielle S.

"Fitness and food go hand in hand, so the most significant piece of advice I can give is this: do your research and have fun. The trick is not letting the gym or the desire to change yourself control you."

- Jessi D.

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