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Exercise and mental health

Summary: 

This week, exercise physiologist Zac Jefcoate joins Michael Dermansky to discuss the vital link between exercise and mental health.

For many people, the mental and physical aspects of recovering from injury are intertwined. To achieve the best health outcome you need to look at both components together. Exercise is not just important in terms of recovery from physical injuries; it is proven to boost mood, cognition and overall mental health, which in turn supports and strengthens physical recovery.

CLICK HERE to read the full transcript from episode 6 of The Confident Body Show

Topics discussed in this episode: 

  • The mood, cognition and mental health benefits of exercise through the release of hormones. (1:30)
  • The exercise duration required to get hormonal benefits (9:15)
  • The best exercise to improve mental health: cardio vs weight training (9:30)
  • How exercise leverages neuroplasticity to improve brain function (13:20)

Key takeaways

    • Several hormones are released as we exercise, including ‘feel good’ hormones such as dopamine. (2:00)
    • Exercise is as effective as a short acting medication in treating depression. There are direct positive effects on the brain, in particular the hippocampus (the area responsible for learning, memory and emotional regulation). (3:20)
    • Low dopamine levels are linked to depression. Exercise gives a feeling of “pleasure” for the next 24 hours by increasing the release of dopamine. As you do more exercise, dopamine builds up over time in the body. (4:00)
    • The type of exercise you do can also improve or produce better feel good hormones. (5:15)
    • As you exercise more, over time you tend to increase serotonin and dopamine hormones. (5:30)
    • People that exercise consistently to manage their mood generally report a higher level of satisfaction, feel more capable mentally, and feel they have achieved a lot more. (7:30)
    • Start small, keep things simple, set realistic goals and pace yourself. Regular exercise has the best long term effect on mood, not getting there faster. Consistency is key. (8:00)
    • To get the hormonal benefits, exercise needs to be at least 10 minutes in duration. (9:15)
    • There is no perfect exercise to improve mental health – any exercise is good exercise. Studies have shown that running and resistance training both have the same effect on mental health. Just do what you love and can sustain. (9:30)
    • Any exercise is good exercise – as long as the exercise is achievable for you. It depends on your goals. 10 minutes is a minimum requirement to elicit any hormonal or cognitive benefit. (10:30)
    • Exercise and activity improves brain function (memory and cognition), even as you age. (13:10)

For practical articles to help you build a confident body, go to mdhealth.com.au/articles.

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Click here to find out more about Exercise Physiologist Zac Jefcoate

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Episode 6: Full Transcript

Voiceover:                          

Welcome to The Confident Body, where experienced health professionals discuss how to get the most out of your body for the lifestyle you choose. We believe everyone can exercise and get the most out of life, regardless of your injuries or health issues. Now here’s your host, senior physiotherapist Michael Dermansky.

Michael Dermansky:      

Hello everyone, and welcome to the show that helps you become more confident in your body so you can keep doing the things that you love. [00:00:30] My name’s Michael Dermansky, I’m senior physiotherapist at MD Health. Today we’ve got a special guest, we’ve got Zac Jefcoate. He’s an exercise physiologist in Perth. He’s been working as an exercise physiologist since 2008. He’s very passionate about particularly exercise and mental health. And he’s been a spokesman for ESSA in the past and Zac, welcome aboard, nice to see you on the show.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Thanks for having me, Michael, and absolute pleasure to have me on board. And once again I really enjoy this cross national rivalry [00:01:00] between eastern states and west. So it’s good to see you’ve got us West Australians on some of your shows, mate, which is great.

Michael Dermansky:      

It is great. It’s pretty simple because we’re always better on the east side, it’s just as simple as that.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah. Well I used to live on the east mate. I went back, for this I’m back in the west mate. Absolute pleasure Mike, looking forward to chatting to the audience today about something I’m really passionate about in reference to exercise and mental health.

Michael Dermansky:      

So let’s start with that too. So from your point of view, why should someone start exercising for their mood, their cognition, for their mental health if they haven’t already? What’s the benefit of it?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Well, the benefit’s [00:01:30] quite widely publicized, so a lot of the stuff I talk about today, Michael, will be… I’ll link with the audience with the exercise and science mental health paper. A lot of evidence today does talk to that link, so obviously we’ll be able to see that. But the main thing we look at in particular why mental health and exercise is important is predominantly it’s both [00:02:00] brain and essentially hormones. So brain and body. So today I’ll talk to you about… keeping it really simple. So exercising by the very nature of movement improves and increases feel-good hormones, as well know. Dopamine and serotonin. Second to that, it improves our cognition and our brain function in terms of how we process information, what memory we have and how we retain memory, and also reduces obviously the effects of aging, which all has [00:02:30] essentially an overall effect on wellbeing.

There’s a lot of information about exercise and mental health. It is quite broad, Michael, so I’ll try to keep today quite simple in reference to that. But the very nature of increasing or starting exercise safely improves both brain, heart, and hormone function.

Michael Dermansky:      

Okay. Let’s talk about hormones, specifically you said. So what are the relationships of the happy hormones? You mentioned two ones, serotonin the main, one of those endorphins as well. Where do [00:03:00] those particular ones sit on the scale? What effect do they have and are they the same, are they different?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

There’s a lot of research at the moment in this and some good stuff from the [inaudible 00:03:10] lab about dopamine, it’s really important. What I’ll talk to you about is how does exercise improve mood and in terms of reference to depression. So what we know exercise as medicine is essentially as effective as a short acting obviously medication and depression. There’s been a lot of studies that look at the elevation [00:03:30] of mood over a 12 week period, with participants taking just medication, participants taking medication and exercise, and then exercise alone.

The way it works essentially is when we start to move and exercise, we increase our heart rate. Once our heart rate increases, the body’s temperature increases. As that increases in temperature, there’s an activation pathway in through obviously our brains and our hormones, which release or secretes certain types of hormones. So for example, dopamine, [00:04:00] which is pleasure and reward, it’s a feel good hormone. So as we start to exercise in the right way based on how we present in maybe our injury or whatever it might be, we start to slowly over time release this type of hormone. That hormone then continues to obviously circulate through the body and then essentially as you do more of it it builds up over time in the body.

Now, low dopamine levels, Michael, have been a strong reference to depression. [00:04:30] And that’s one part of it. So we look at how people can exercise in activity they enjoy, in particular to get that pleasure system going. Therefore that increases adherence. By the very nature, it increases compliance and motivation. And generally people tend to report that exercise improves their mood, generally up to 12 to 24 hours after activity.

Michael Dermansky:       

So that’s the short acting hormones, things like dopamine and endorphins as well?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yes.

Michael Dermansky:    

Is there a difference between [00:05:00] the release of dopamine?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Technically there’s a lot more research at the moment looking at what is the optimal amount of hormone secretion, for example testosterone with weight training is one which has a reference or link to exercise and mental health. The type of exercise you do can also improve or produce better feel good hormones. We know, for example Michael, with the runner’s high when people report they run a lot more they tend to have this reaction or this [00:05:30] feeling in their body. So the question is as you exercise more, you tend to over time increase these hormones of serotonin, also dopamine. But by the very nature of it, in terms of starting exercise, most people that we deal with particularly don’t know where to start, don’t know how to start, don’t know what exercise is specific for their mood, and this is the important thing Michael, is if you’ve been diagnosed or you have a mental health presentation, what [00:06:00] should I do to make myself, inverted commas, “feel better”?

So really it’s quite complex in terms of the hormones but the very nature of it is as you exercise over time, you’ll increase longer acting hormones and obviously you’ll have more sustained mood effect. So your mood over time in combination with medication will improve over time, as a general rule.

Michael Dermansky:    

So when you mean long acting hormones, things like serotonin which is more like a long acting hormone than dopamine or endorphins, is that right?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

[00:06:30] Yeah, and they’re both kind of counter looped as well. In the very simple sense, essentially they do work hand in hand but the main thing is with serotonin, feeling good. Dopamine is more the pleasure in terms of the activity that causes pleasure. So this is why you’ve got to be mindful of when we talk about exercise and mental health, it’s not just about serotonin, to be honest with you.

Michael Dermansky:      

Right, excellent. So if I’ve been hearing you right, when [00:07:00] you start exercising there’s a 24 hour… it can be a 24 hour effect roughly. And then the pleasure hormones are more released, like dopamine, and then the more longer acting effect is the fuel effect, and that’s more the longer acting hormones. Is that right?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah. And the scientific around it is there’s a lot more research at the moment, and let’s go into that as well. I’m not an expert as well but from a case study and a lived experience as well, we tend to find that people [00:07:30] that exercise consistently for mood and managing their mood and exercise generally report a higher level of satisfaction, a higher level of feeling a lot more capable mentally, and essentially feeling a lot more they achieved, a lot more activity. So it’s really important we look at how exercise is structured for clients. And it needs to be achievable, Michael. We’re not here to set people up for failure in reference to their exercise and mental health. It’s about working with the client in terms of what [00:08:00] best suits their symptoms.

Michael Dermansky:    

So you said it’s about working with a client. It’s not setting them up for failure, making sure they’re working with the client, the things they like to do, what they’re able to do. Is that right?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah. And you’ve got to start small, Michael. The challenge in the current climate, I guess is the world of social media and Instagram and things like that, it’s got to be fancier. We need to look at keeping exercise simple, keeping it specific and relevant to people’s capabilities, [00:08:30] and also developing a plan which essentially is going to be achievable over the long-term.

Michael Dermansky:    

That’s the big thing as well, you can see these fancy things but they’re rarely ever effective, it’s slow, steady changes over time and consistency, consistency, consistency that wins the game in the long-term. And that’s probably the most hardest and most consistent conversation I have with clients, that consistency is the key to getting change over time. You’re not going to get better that fast. Well, you’re going to get changes but [00:09:00] it’s not going to be instantaneous. Five minute abs, two minute abs, none of that stuff works. It’s a guaranteed failure. But slow and steady over time makes massive changes. You’d be surprised if you look back three months of what you’ve been able to achieve.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah, I agree, and going back to that time reference, 10 minutes being the minimum bout or dose response required to elicit hormone change. As you know Michael, as an exercise physiologist we’re very big on dose and response, whether it’s through exercise [00:09:30] or modalities. There’s been a lot of studies that look at duration. So mate, to be honest, the most common question I get, and I’ll link this in, is it better to run or is it better to do weights? For my mental health. It’s a conversation that you always get.

The study that came out, I think it was… don’t quote me, Mike, two years ago is they actually studied running versus resistance training and both had the same effect. However, once again it’s about understanding which of those two is going to align with the client and do they have [00:10:00] balance in their exercise program, which is more to the point about making sure that you’re exercising the right way for your body.

Michael Dermansky:    

Right, okay, I see. That is an interesting point too because we see the same thing but often, I have a bit of a bias towards this too, but I tend to find people will just go for a run and they’re usual not strong enough and it has a very fast plateau effect and they really should be making themselves stronger first, for at least six, seven weeks, before they start those programs. And they get a lot more out of them.

So Zac, is there any [00:10:30] particular exercise that you think improves mood, is better for improving mood, say for example like anxiety or depression, what are your thoughts?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Well, to be honest Michael, any exercise is good exercise. I’m an advocator on any movement that participants or clients obviously enjoy. So that’s the first thing. Second to that, depending on their mental health condition, whether it’s anxiety or depression, does change a little bit in terms of the intensity. So how hard someone exercises can also improve [00:11:00] those, obviously, those dopamine levels and serotonin, relative to also what type of exercise.

So to make it really simple, any exercise is good exercise for mood, as long as the exercise is achievable. Because what you do is if you, for example, someone wants to lose weight, improve their depressive symptoms and they get asked to run a five kilometer jog, and they can’t achieve that then that’s obviously not ideal.

So what we look at is, [00:11:30] depending on the goals of the client, we’ll relate to what type of exercise. But 10 minutes normally as a minimum bout is really important as a minimum requirement to elicit any hormonal or cognitive effect.

Michael Dermansky:    

Right. So it’s not so much what they choose, the type of exercise, it’s a minimum duration of 10 minutes and something that’s realistically achievable as a positive effect. So not I’m going to be able to run a marathon three weeks from now or two without [00:12:00] training. That’s not going to have a positive effect. It’s a realistic program, start and minimum of 10 minutes to have a positive mood effect. Is that what I’m hearing?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah. And also, depending on I guess the conversation piece is someone who’s, for example, been newly diagnosed with anxiety or whatever it might be, their exercise program is a lot different, to some degree, to someone who’s been managing their mental health over time. So it’s really important that based on [00:12:30] people’s behavior activation in their central nervous system. So if they’re really overacted and heightened, they may require exercises that reduce their central nervous sensitivity. Meditation, yoga, dark room, reducing and relaxation and breathing. So it’s really important that we look at…

This is why it’s good to have a combination approach with physios, osteos, psychologists and doctors about how does this person respond [00:13:00] to either incidents where it increases their fear or their breathing and heart rate. So it’s really important we tailor a program based on their primary condition and how they present.

Michael Dermansky:    

Right, okay. So you also mentioned about improving brain function, neuroplasticity, changes in the hippocampus as well. What does that mean? How does it improve brain function? What is neuroplasticity?

Zac Jefcoate:                   

So really firing and wiring in the brain, and the brain actually can change and model based on [00:13:30] behavior and experience, and exercise and activity. So the study they looked at, for example hippocampus, which is memory and cognition and that. As people aged, as they exercise more, the volume in the hippocampus improved or increased. Therefore reduces age related cognitive function. So people’s memory got better as they aged if they were more active. Still a lot more needs to happen in that space, however we know preliminary that exercise does activate [00:14:00] certain pathways or areas of the brain which are responsible for mood, cognition, thought, reasoning, processing, things like that, which also relate to problem solving and memory.

So exercise, it’s not a panacea, so it doesn’t cure everything but what we understand now Michael is cardiorespiratory fitness. So lower cardiorespiratory fitness as people age has a high predictor of premature death. Not as a standalone but as an overall [00:14:30] picture, exercise is really important both from a cardiac or heart point of view, brain function, cognition and also from a mood, memory and cognition point of view.

Michael Dermansky:      

Just amazing, little hippocampus, tiny little thing part of the brain, has such a massive effect. As you said, better cognition when there’s better activation around the hippocampus. The other thing about neuroplasticity, it’s amazing how much we’ve learned over the last 20, 30 years that neuroplasticity is like the brain is always changing, it’s not [00:15:00] a static structure. It’s connecting, remaking connections. So as you learn stuff at any age, you will make changes in the brain. It’s a dynamic process, which is just fantastic. It’s not just kids that make changes in the brain, everyone does all the time through their lives.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

And we’re in a fortunate position, Mike, in the work that we do is a lot of the exercise and the movement that we do with our client does improve these age related changes. So we’re quite fortunate to see [00:15:30] from children through to elderly how we can remodel and how people can improve. For example, balance and fall prevention, spatial awareness, things like that. This is all related to both the neuroplasticity of the brain and no different to mental health and exercise. It’s really important that we… I’ve been doing this for a while now where a lot of people want to give me the best exercise program to improve my health, my mood. I’m feeling low, do I just do some HIT training and [00:16:00] will I feel better? I’ve got PTSD and I’ve got trauma, how can I reduce that through exercise?

So it’s becoming a lot more, the awareness out there with exercise is really important. It is one part of the jigsaw, it is really one part of the puzzle where the self-efficacy and the confidence that we give people through movement, then obviously improves their locus of self-control, it improves their ability to have confidence in how they move and obviously as a physio, Mike, you guys [00:16:30] specialize a lot in the recovery and pain space. And it’s also really important that people have a sense of achievement. This is primarily, I think, where we get a bit caught up in exercise and what’s the best exercise and how many sets, how many reps, how many times. We do miss the simplistic nature of activity, is that movement is important no matter how you do it.

Michael Dermansky:    

Yeah, as you said, the big thing, giving people that locus [00:17:00] of control, like this is not something that someone has to do on to them, it’s something they can do for themselves. That ability to have the, I can rely on myself, I’ve got the ability to rely on myself. That’s a massive change in people’s function, what they can do, their life quality. I mean, I’ve seen this over years as well, is that as their strength and control and fitness improves, their ability to say yes I can do this, it’s huge. It’s a huge thing [inaudible 00:17:27] and their response to that too.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah, I agree Michael. [00:17:30] I think sometimes in order to improve the empowerment piece with your client, it’s setting up the goal setting. Because I think personally, from my point of view, is are we setting realistic goals with people, do they have a realistic goal when they come to see us about starting exercise? And how do we empower the client to really take control of their recovery. And that’s our role as a health professional, is to empower [00:18:00] the client to make the right choices.

Michael Dermansky:       

On that point as well, are there any downsides of exercise to mental health?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yes and no. Michael, obviously, we may have seen it. But I think acute settings of hyperarousal. So in acute settings where the participant or client may be having, for example, a panic attack or an increased effect, episode. It’s really to important to understand that certain activity may not be right for that client.

But overall it’s also based on, we’ve got to look at [00:18:30] particularly the chronic fatigue aspect, or the fatigue aspect of exercise. If a client is overdoing it through activity and exercise, that can have a synergistic effect on their mood, which can then affect their central nervous system, both parasympathetic and sympathetic. That can also relate to fatigue and obviously ongoing issues in terms of their energy levels. So something to be mindful of there is… And in particular if they haven’t been looking after themself mentally in terms of exercise and eating and sleeping, they all are [00:19:00] concerns from our point of view. Is this client better off going for a walk today as opposed to doing any load bearing type stuff?

Michael Dermansky:    

Yeah. From ones I’ve seen as well where the negative effects is where people rely on exercise as their, I guess their panacea for feeling good. And they overdo it. And where they don’t know where to stop or they don’t know when they’re not ready for it. I can think of a few particular clients where they weren’t strong enough to do what they’re asking the body to do and they could not or they did not want to start exercising because it made [00:19:30] them feel good. And they’re all just hurting themselves. And you couldn’t… it was such a battle to pull them back and say, “You’re overdoing it, you’re doing too much and you’re not doing the things that actually are good for you.”

So when it’s reliant on the only tool to improve your mood, that then becomes a problem, it’s another addictive behavior that’s not healthy either.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah, I agree. And I think that’s becoming prevalent in some of the coping strategies that our clients have with exercise, [00:20:00] as a coping strategy in terms of if I don’t exercise my mood’s terrible. So sometimes it’s about balancing that. Obviously I’ve just become a recent father so I haven’t done any consistent exercise in the last six months, but having that understanding that life changes and life’s flexible, and having your sole focus on one modality to improve your mental health. For example, let’s just say for context, this medication I have it every day, I feel better. If I take the medication away [00:20:30] what then happens with my ability to cope? Likewise with exercise or-

Michael Dermansky:    

With exercise, absolutely.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Or caffeine or whatever it might be. It’s about the balance and our role in the health professional space is if we’re seeing these addictive behaviors, it’s obviously to utilize our skillset in terms of the team we work with, the psychologist or whatever it may be, but that obsession around what exercise gives them is essentially needs to be beyond what’s happening, is it a real core value [00:21:00] of then to be achieving so high that that forms their behavior and personality? And that’s really important that when we work with these types of clients that we set the expectation up early, but the reality is not everyone has to listen to any. So we just have to give them advice and hopefully they take it on board.

Michael Dermansky:    

Got two more questions for you, Zac. Next one, how important is exercise on mental health when people have an injury? I know I have a very particular opinion and view of this because I’ve seen it [00:21:30] over many years, but what are your thoughts about this?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Well, it’s a very good question because Michael, I support the work you guys do and it’s great because with the mental health… we’ve got to look at, I tend to work backwards. So a client gets injured, whether it’s at work, through work cover, whatever scheme we’re in. And prior to the injury they’re quite active. They have an injury, then their mood reduces, their physical activity reduces, the ADLs reduce, the overall work capacity [00:22:00] in the day reduces. They then become, whether it’s postoperatively, whatever it might be. Therefore the total activity is reduced.

Now, the reality is they were here, now they’re here. Psychologically I think that’s more important managing that, and getting them to improve their overall perception and acceptance of where they are, which is the real battle because it’s so important from a recovery perspective that clients [00:22:30] understand and accept the journey they’ve been on because the reality is… and you know in the work that you do, is getting people to obviously work with us and work alongside us is about accepting they’ve had this traumatic or this massive event in their life. It’s dealing with that change.

So from a psychological perspective, every single client that gets injured, we need to look at this, we need to look at how we’re best supporting the client in their recovery before, during and after, and also how we’re supporting [00:23:00] in terms of the doctors and the psychs and the physios and the osteos and EPs, how do we work together to really identify how to best support someone’s mental health recovery. Because it’s not just physical.

Michael Dermansky:    

No it’s not. I mean there two aspects, one as you said accepting the fact that they’ve got an injury. That event that may or may not be their fault. It’s part of their life. And second of all is that mental health benefits of saying, “I can do this, this injury doesn’t define me. And I do have capacity.” [00:23:30] Then slowly improving that over time has a huge benefit.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah, I agree. I think it’s also the skill. If I rewind 10 years ago as a practitioner to what I am now, I think it’s a bit of a skill, Mike. And as you’re probably aware it’s about how we send these messages and how we give these messages to our clients. We’ve got to be careful in this fear of pain and management that keep pushing through it, just breathe it, you’ll be better mate. There’s always ways that we have [00:24:00] to work with the client in particular, in terms of their psychological state and emotion, and giving them achievable goals which touching back on our theme here, if you can give them the right three or four simple exercises and they can see benefit and value and they get buy-in, of course they’re going to improve their functioning. But the reality is, I think it’s the messaging mode and how we speak to our clients about how we can help move them through those stages of change.

Michael Dermansky:      

Yes. And the last question I have today is when you’ve seen [00:24:30] people that have had exercise as part of their life. It wasn’t, now it is, how’s their behavior and change once exercise does become part of their life?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Okay, so as in they had it, they’ve lost it, and then they’ve got it back?

Michael Dermansky:        

Or just full stop, they haven’t been exercising before and now exercise starts becoming part of their life. How have you seen the behavior of clients after that’s become part of their lives?

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Yeah, it’s a beautiful thing, Mike. I think in the work that we do as physiologists and EPs and health [00:25:00] professionals, promotion of physical activity and movement is at the core of what we do. So people’s behavior generally will change based on an event or an incident, or essentially a motivation or a stage of change to one of obviously buy-in to something.

So for me, and what we see behavior is that they’ve increased their mood, other aspects of their life has improved. In particular, to be honest Mike, people’s relationships actually get better because they’re increasing or improving [00:25:30] as a role model. So their relationship with their kids generally improves because they take the kids out for walks, they essentially have more, a stronger sense of self in terms of where they’re at. Because they’re consistently achieving things, where prior they let the world kind of take them as a passenger. So we look at the employment piece. And this is why I became an exercise physiologist, to be honest with you, it was giving access to people where there were too many barriers to name [00:26:00] but we have been able to really work with clients to improve their behavior. And long-term sustained behavior really takes the first step. And being kind and being respectful to yourself that you’re not always going to achieve what you want to achieve.

So people’s behavior generally improve. I think, Mike, to be honest, apart from the simple stuff like mood, memory, sleep, fatigue management, pacing, obviously the diet improvement that weight loss goes down, whatever it might be, I think people generally it’s all about confidence. [00:26:30] So people are more confident at home, in their workplace, in their activity. They don’t shy away from activities on the weekend like hiking, whatever it might be. They have renewed sense of confidence. And mate, to be honest, you can see someone who exercises. You just know by their demeanor, their personality.

And you’re the same, I’ve got clients that we’re talking 10, 15 years of sedentary stuff, and particularly the NDI stuff that I do. [00:27:00] These participants have done nothing for 10 years and now they’re walking around the park. So yeah. But the caveat to that, Mike, is you have to have the right advice. You can’t just wake up and then start doing all these things under the sun. I think it’s about being smart and just seeking the advice and making sure that the physio or the EP or whoever it might be prescribe a program tailored to you.

Michael Dermansky:    

Yeah. With that tailoring and approach. That confidence, a big deal [00:27:30] about being confident in what you can do, what your body’s able to do as well. That’s the big thing I’ve seen over the years, that once you think you know what, I can do this, large change. And that’s, as you said, the really rewarding part of our jobs is that you see people’s lives change because they have confidence in what they do.

Excellent, Zac. Well that’s been a great discussion about mental health and the effects of exercise. I’ve seen all the things that you’ve talked about and it’s really wonderful to see. I really thank you for your time, and our next show as well we’re going to be talking [00:28:00] about recovery from injury, that other perspective as well and how people have gone from an injury and to have that change their lives. But Zac, thank you very much for your time and I hope that the listeners got a great deal out of our conversation. Thank you very much.

Zac Jefcoate:                     

Thanks Mike. And just a final point, the passion for me is men’s mental health as well. So obviously as we know, Men’s Health Week was last week. Mate, the alarming stat is seven out of nine suicides a day are by men. So we need to really get on [00:28:30] the front foot of this stuff and particularly getting the brothers and the husbands and the men in our life to actually start to seek assistance and really work with each other to improve our lives.

So I’ve been a passionate advocate for mental health for a long time, with lived experience and that as well, but the reality is I think it’s about giving every Australian access to exercise, whoever you see, and the benefits outweigh the risks. They always will unless we’re doing silly things. But it’s been a pleasure talking to you today Mike, [00:29:00] and I hope the listeners have got value. I’ll link the exercise and mental health details, and really appreciate you having me on.

Michael Dermansky:    

Fantastic, really nice to have you on too. Thank you very much, Zac.

 

 

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