Mental Health & the Benefits of Exercise

Here’s a handy #RebelLife guide to make sure you are prepared for your first RebelPT session, no matter what. Mental Health Awareness

Why Rebel is more than just a bootcamp

I started with Rebel way back in the early days. I remember the days when 8 people at a session was a big day. When I started at Rebel I was relatively unfit. Had never been to a gym and couldn’t have run much more than the length of a football pitch (Fives at that).

What I’ve done since, what Rebel has introduced me to, and given me the confidence to try is a world away from where I was then. On the social side it’s given me lifelong friends including one of my groomsmen and surrounded me with people who have pushed me to do more and worry about the consequences later.

But there’s one aspect of what Rebel has provided me that I’ve never spoken about. Stupidly I’m still questioning if I should and what the reaction will be if I do. But maybe it’s important, and maybe it’ll help one person and maybe it’ll show what Rebel PT, or at the very least what exercise and a good community, can do for you.

Let’s Talk Depression

When I joined Rebel, I had been diagnosed with depression and have had bouts of it on and off since. A physically healthy young man from a loving family. I’ve never really felt like I had a good excuse for it, but it was there and dealt with almost exclusively in private. Of course it shouldn’t be that way, of course it should be freely spoken about and accepted and hopefully the more people that do, the easier it will be for thousands suffering silently. Suicide rates, especially for men, are particularly high in Scotland and hopefully a better understanding and acceptance can help reduce that. So this piece isn’t based on any medical opinion, nor is Rebel PT a cure or a fix. But hopefully I can explain how I’ve benefitted from it and help shed some light on why Rebel really is more than just a bootcamp.

I was prescribed two things, one of which being exercise. So I know Tom from School and our terrible 5-a-side squad and he’s running these bootcamps that sound a bit wiffy and might last a few months but I’ll give it a go. I’m still kicking about 5 years on. During those years, there have been a few long term spells of depression. Rebel hasn’t cured me but it has helped lift me for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, that sweet endorphin hit.

We’ve all heard that exercise can lift your mood and it certainly does give that temporary high. Beyond that, having a routine to stick to was a must. You often just feel empty, like you can’t be bothered moving or getting outside. Making bootcamp a habit, knowing that I had somewhere to be pretty much every day of the week helped to get me outside and keep me around people. People help. Even people who don’t know they’re helping. The community of people at Rebel are pretty much exclusively top quality. If anything it’s been me letting the side down. Having to interact with people, nice people, and be forced outside whatever the weather was huge. Without that it would have been very easy to sit inside on my own and let things overwhelm me.

It also gave me control when I felt I didn’t have any and confidence when I lacked it. I didn’t feel like I could control my thoughts or my mood, but I could run faster, I could push myself harder and in turn I could physically see the results. I got faster and I got fitter and I became physically healthier and took control of something. That in turn meant I could do things I hadn’t done before or even thought possible. Where I lacked confidence in myself I could gain some back by running further or faster than I had the day before. I could sign up to events that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to try before and compete against myself.

So even at my lowest, Rebel gave me a routine to stick to, exercise and fresh air, something I could control and something I could take confidence from all while surrounded by a community of amazing people who had no idea the support they were providing.

I’m not the only one at Rebel with this story. Statistically I can’t be. And hopefully their experience is the same as mine. That Rebel is more than just a bootcamp to them. That they feel they’re surrounded by help and support even if the community has no idea they’re helping and supporting.

Rebel PT isn’t the solution to everyone’s problems. I can’t give a medical opinion as to it’s benefits, and it’s important to note that many of the benefits I’ve mentioned aren’t exclusive to Rebel PT. It’s important to be more open about mental health and ways in which we can help ourselves and others. Stay active, keep a routine, get fresh air, surround yourself with good people and find a way to take control and build your confidence.

For me, that’s what Rebel PT has done and why Rebel is more than just a bootcamp.

Time for a wee drink before heading home after ticking off 25 Oor Wullies!Maryculter Woods Forest training

Every year on the 10th of October, to help raise awareness, is World Mental Health day. Check out the website here where you can receive help, donate and find out more about Mental Health.