It is well known that exercise and being in the outdoors is great for your health and wellbeing, but Doctor's in Biarritz are now prescribing surfing lessons for people who have been diagnosed with depression. So, are we reaching a point where some anti-depressants may be overthrown in favour of outdoor activities?
An article on mpora.com (and featured on Cooler Magazine's Facebook page) yesterday talked about how Doctor's in Biarritz, France are running a pilot scheme where they send patients for surfing lessons. Amongst the illnesses being treated in this more alternative way are sufferers of depression and mental health.
When I was diagnosed with stress and anxiety my GP was very supportive and keen for me to try alternative methods of treating my illness he did however talk to me about taking anti-depressants. This, for me, has always been the very last option and one that I have wanted to avoid preferring as you know, if you have read my other blogs, to get outside, walk, climb, paddle and practice yoga every day. For me, this is working.
But wouldn't it be amazing if those of us who do suffer at some point in our lives (1 in 4 of the population will suffer with mental health issues at some point in their lives) were offered surfing, stand up paddle boarding or Nordic walking sessions?
'Guillaume Barucq, a Biarritz doctor and avid surfer, described the scheme as “miraculous”. Water sports......“get the lower limbs working and strengthens all the back and abdominal muscles, as well as the shoulders and buttocks”. Exposure to the sun helps create vitamin D which can ward against cancer and diabetes, he added. “It’s also about enacting cultural change in a country where 90 per cent patients who come out of the doctor’s surgery do so with a medical prescription.” source Daily Telegraph.
Not only would it save money in prescription charges but it would engage people in an activity that they can adopt as part of their everyday lives.
Come on UK - let's see this happening here soon!
For more information on Mental Health please visit www.mind.org.uk HERE
Best stress beaters...
1. Be active
Exercise won’t make stress disappear, but it can help you clear your thoughts and approach your problems calmly
2. Avoid unhealthy habits
Don't rely on alcohol, smoking or caffeine as your ways of coping. In the long term, they’ll just create more problems
3. Help other people
Evidence shows that people who help others, through volunteering for example, become more resilient. But you can get the same effect by trying to do someone a favour every day, however small
4. Be grateful
To help focus on the positives in your life, try writing down three things at the end of every day which went well
5. Accept what can't change
When you can't change a difficult situation try to concentrate on the things you do have control over