Physical Health Programs by Marisol D’Andrea

Photo by Esther Max

There is an indisputable link between physical health and mental health.  When we exercise, we feel better. Or for a more biological take on things, endorphins and a whole boat-load of feel-good chemicals are released by the brain when we do.

When we feel good, we do good. Add to that that exercise is an effective form of preventive medicine, so great for the individual and also for business (fewer sick days and lower productivity) and one begins to see how health really impacts upon the communities that we live in.

Consequently, implementing free, accessible health care programs, in community centres for example, would be a real boost to all concerned – the individual, the centre and the community at large.

People tend to stick with something more so than when they try and achieve something on their own – through a sense of community and shared experience. Sure, you can see endless adverts for home exercise equipment that near promise you a thinner, healthier future, but then don’t deliver. Why?  Primarily because it’s being done in isolation behind closed doors at home. Way too many distractions plus not enough encouragement from others.

Accessible and affordable programs can focus on the need to tackle obesity – a problem that affects anyone, irrespective of whatever particular demographic they may fall in to.

Programs can also be tailored for say youth on one day, adults another day and seniors another, so as to encourage attendance through repeated patterns of recurrence.

A community engendered sense of health and well-being radiates a feel-good factor for all those involved. It also encourages a greater sense of community as it allows for individuals to get out and away from the allure of the TV or PC screen. Even just walking the dog gets people (and their dogs!) up and out, embracing activity and getting to know others who are doing similar or the same.There is no doubt, a healthier community is a better community. We should therefore do all that we can to harness that and provide people with the means to get themselves feeling better about themselves and in turn help out our community.

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