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Fitness critical in stressful times

Mental health professionals say in times of stress, exercise is critical.

This stress can be from economic down-turns, family issues, job loss, moving, social problems or a multitude of other things.

"The research is really clear, the first line of treatment for depression and stress is exercise and talk therapy," said Robbie Babbins-Wagner, CEO of the Calgary Counselling Centre.

There are at least three reasons to this; (1) chemicals released during exercise make you feel better, (2) the feeling of success from having a work-out improves your mood, and (3) the long-term health benefits of fitness never change.

But, in times where money is short – what do you do?

Well, first of all look at your budget.What's more important, designer coffees or your life?

Second, there are a lot of free fitness options – such as a peppy walk or doing exercises with your own body weight.Anyone can do push ups, sit ups or pull ups. If you add a few resistance band exercises to make things harder, you can get a full body workout.

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