Pole Fitness & Depression: Can it help?
In the many years I have taught pole fitness, the one thing Ive always notice is the unspoken emotions in my students before pole class and afterwards. Sometimes our days can be full of chaos, anxiety, stress, and depression....Yes even clinical depression.
As a instructor and student of life, its no denying it, life can sometimes toss you a lemon and sometimes you can't find the juicer to make that lemonade that everyone raves about. Then there you are.... holding that "lemon" that sideblinded you out of no where.
Feeling the pressures of life is not uncommon, it lets know you're alive. We all have our different ways of dealing with depression, stress, and anxiety. I have come to know from life and watching my amazing students, that pole has become a new innovative way of dealing with life's low blows.
In an 2014 online published article by Mayoclinic,"Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression symptoms. The mental health benefits of exercise and physical activity may last only if you stick with it over the long term — another good reason to focus on finding activities that you enjoy." (2014, Mayoclinic.com)
Thats why you should focus on a fun yet challenging fitness regiment that will help you set goals for yourself to focus on. This is better then getting involved in an exercise regiment that feels more like a chore than something to look forward to every week.
Here is how you get started in my words of encouragement: Hold on to your hats!! :-P
Identify what you enjoy doing: If you identify pole or any form of exercise for that matter as a enjoyable fitness journey then you're on a good path for yourself in the matter of finding something you love to do!!
Get your mental health provider's support. Talk to your doctor or other mental health provider for guidance and support in what would be an ideal exercise regiment. But dont forget you doing your own fitness research is just as important too.
Set reasonable goals. Set idealistic goals for yourself. If you are a part time perfectionist like myself i know this can be a scare thing because we want to meet a goal head on and as perfect as possible. Sometimes that isn't always the case. Set realistic goals for yourself that are achieveable this is also a big way in to whether fitness can be fun or Mt. Everest in December!! (yikes)
Don't think of exercise or physical activity as a chore. If you dont love it, it will feel like a chore " you have to" do. It should be a tool in your arsenal of theraputic methods. That is why you have "fall in love" with your regiment rather than " I got class again, ugh!!"
Analyze your barriers. If there is a barrier, sit down for a minute and write down what it could be that is stopping you in your process. If you're reserved or self concious, ease into your new adventure with pole or any other chosen exercise regiment. That way you stay in control of how much you let go of yourself in a new enviroment.
Prepare for setbacks and obstacles. Always secret air high five yourself for a job well done. Because it puts you one step closer to a goal for yourself. Also in pole like I explain to my pole babies never look at bad pole days as a setback or an mountain that you will never conqure. It's part of progress and without it how will you know if you have. Embrace the bad with the good I always say because you need that to coexsist and know the difference in your growth. No matter what,you keep going and focus on being better than your yesterday.
This is is why im a personal firm believer in pole fitness, it can and will change your frame of mind and outlook on life's highs and lows for most people. Nothing is the magic pill to fix life as we know it but we can damn sure try with something like pole fitness to challenge our minds and bodies. Putting that focus on something else that can bring positive light into a chaotic darkness to find our way back to ourselves.