EP 30 – Movement + Mental Health

EP 30 - Movement + Mental Health

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EP 30 - Exercise + Mental Health

May is MH awareness month so it’s a perfect time to talk about the effects movement can have  on our mental wellbeing.  

We are all familiar with the many benefits of physical activity on our mental health that are often touted as a reason to get active.  Regular movement can contribute to reduced stress, improved mood and a clearer mind, better quality of sleep, a sense of social connection and connection to self. 

What’s not often talked about are the ways that exercise or fitness programs can actually be detrimental to mental health. It’s important to acknowledge both sides of the coin and shed light on the lived experience of many folks who have a disordered or traumatic relationship with exercise – one which can cause or exacerbate mental health conditions.  

As fitness professionals we need to be aware of how our environments, language and behaviour can affect people and contribute positively or negatively to their overall well being.  If you’re a fit pro, this is an important episode to listen to.  

For those who have experienced a disordered relationship with exercise and subsequent detrimental effects on your mental well being – tune in for strategies to reframe your mindset about movement so that it can be a help, not a hindrance.


What you’ll learn by listening:

  • 6 ways that regular movement can boost your mental well being
  • How exercise can be an important part of a balanced treatment plan for those with anxiety and depression, but why we need to be careful with phrases like “exercise is my therapy”
  • The ways in which exercise can actually be a detriment to one’s mental health and the red flags to watch for
  • How weight stigma in fitness environments is contributing to worsening physical and mental health in those in large bodies.  
  • The responsibility of fitness professionals to become weight-inclusive in order to help ALL people achieve their health goals
  • Strategies to heal your relationship with movement so that it can become a way to foster good mental health.  


Studies Referenced:

Schvey, N. A., Sbrocco, T., Bakalar, J. L., Ress, R., Barmine, M., Gorlick, J., Pine, A., Stephens, M., & Tanofsky-Kraff, M. (2017). The experience of weight stigma among gym members with overweight and obesity. Stigma and Health, 2(4), 292–306.


Raglin JS. Exercise and mental health. Beneficial and detrimental effects. Sports Med. 1990 Jun;9(6):323-9. 




Mentioned in the show:  

Resources for Non-Diet Professionals

Right Body for Me – 16 week body acceptance coaching program

The Motivation Secret – FREE guide to help you get unstuck with movement.



Radiant Vitality Website

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