On Saturday, September 29th, 2018, LA Fitness participated with NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) and attended their walk at Angel Stadium in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). What started off as a small idea turned in to a larger campaign which hoped to bring focus and attention to an often-unspoken topic: mental illness.
The fitness industry does an outstanding job of promoting the benefits of physical activity for a healthier body, but exercise provides many additional benefits for a healthier mind.
Health and wellness can be thought of as the trifecta of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. A balanced life of healthy eating, sleeping, exercise and time spent doing the things you love with those you love can all lead to a happier self – and who doesn’t want to be happy?
On the day of the event, thousands of people showed up from various organizations to show their support for a great cause. The air was filled with an electric sense of positivity and hope that absolutely radiated in smiles and kind words of fellow walkers.
And for animal lovers out there, there was also a pet costume contest that took place before the walk, meaning there was no shortage of cute dogs to pet and ogle at during the event.
Participants held up signs with various sayings such as “Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others!” and “We walk, so people will talk”, promoting NAMI’s campaign slogan #CureStigma.
In honor of MIAW, the LA Fitness Living Healthy Podcast published a special episode which featured Neel Doshi, DO, a psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente Orange County. He helped us better understand the impact exercise can have when added to a treatment plan. If you’re one of the many who deal with anxiety or depression symptoms, you may want to give the episode a listen.
(Listen to it, here!)
Whatever you may be going through may feel overwhelming, but with the proper support group, your journey can feel a lot less lonely.
It’s been such a positive experience to hear from many different people about their relatable struggles with mental illness. It really means a lot to talk about it and remove some of the stigma.
I really enjoyed sharing the walk with my wife and son. It was a great event and the turn out proved that we are chipping away at the stigma that surrounds mental illness.
To see so many people come out to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness was both touching and inspiring. I was so proud to rally behind such a strong force and share such empowerment with my son.