Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Exercise - A Mindful Overview

This post will be based around three different concepts around exercise; my experience with it, what exercise means to me and finally how the significance of this activity will effect my practice with clients as a future occupational therapists.
My experience with exercise has been a vast and long one. Exercise has been constantly in my environment from as young as I can remember with my dad being NZ kickboxing champion and my mum a marathon runner, I have been influenced to be active an incorporate daily exercise into my every day life. My personal experience with exercise includes; athletics, dancing, cross country running, netball, kickboxing, walking, attending the gym and yoga. Exercise has helped me develop peer relationships, learn co operation, appreciate success, learn technique, apply theory (kinesiology) to physical exercise and finally relax myself allowing me to feel good about myself and sleep well.
Exercise on a personal level means; gaining achievements, making my family proud, allowing me to spending time with my family and friends while participating in this activity, feeling good about myself, creating total well being (Hauora - Maori Model of Health) and finally I find exercising relaxing.
How I would use exercise as an Occupational Therapist would include; Using exercise to create meaningful occupation whether it be working with clients who present with mental illnesses as exercise has been proven to be an effective strategy for those with mood disorders. Evidence has now been established to support the claim that exercise is related to positive mental health as indicated by relief in symptoms of depression and anxiety (Landers, 2000). Alternatively, I would use exercise as a part of a model of total well being such as Hauora. Hauora is a Māori philosophy of health unique to New Zealand. It comprises Taha Tinana (physical wellbeing), Taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing), Taha whanau (social wellbeing), and Taha wairua (spirtual wellbeing) (Health and Physical Education Online, 2010). This model would be particularly successful when working with the Moari community. This is a model I can strongly identify with. Other ways exercise could be effective when working with clients is to create; good sleep hygiene, develop daily/weekly schedules and finally goal setting.

Health and Physical Education Online. (2010). Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum. Retrieved from on the 08/09/2011.

Landers, D. (2000). The Influence of Exercise on Mental Health. Retrieved from on the 09/09/2011.


  1. Hi Milly
    I really enjoyed reading about your chosen activity of exercise. Makes me wish I was motivated to do it too. I found the colour of the font quite difficult to read purhaps if it was a different colour it may be easier.
    Kate =)

  2. Thanks Kate! I did wonder if my font was hard to read also, so I have taken your advice and changed the colour