October is Mental Health Month and the ARA team is starting the One Foot Forward challenge to raise awareness and much needed funds for The Black Dog Institute.
We know that the mental health of Australians has suffered greatly during the past three years. Our own recent research has also identified the levels of stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression experienced by our own Retail members.
For the past three years a number of our staff have committed to completing this challenge. Studies link activities such as daily walking and exercise with improving the mental health and sense of wellbeing for individuals. So our team will benefit from building in this team challenge and having a goal to collectively achieve to help others.
Action is the best way to make a difference in the world and our daily actions for the next month will see us raise significant funds for a great cause.
Here’s a few tips from our ARA in-house qualified Fitness Instructor:
- If you’re new to daily walking it’s best to set a realistic goal to achieve – it’s better to adjust your steps up along the way if you are beating your personal goals across the month. If you’re not used to walking a lot, start small and build up your time/distance over the month. The goal is to get fitter and stronger on your journey.
- Alternatively, if you know you can go hard aim high and challenge yourself!
- Test your shoes – it’s no fun getting blisters if you are wearing in a new pair so take some band aids on your first few long walks.
- Stay hydrated by drinking 2 litres of water a day – Dehydration will make you feel lethargic and tired.
- Remember why you are walking and think about that during your daily steps – it’s good for you, your mental health, your physical health, and the greater good of Australians suffering with depression, or caring for others with the lived experience.
- Try to take different walks across the month – boredom is demotivating so keep it interesting.
- Stretch, Stretch, Stretch! Aim to stretch your calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and quads everyday as a reset for your body each night.
We encourage you to follow our journey over the next month, and also have your teams consider joining in this year – or to plan for your participation in October next year.