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Exercise is so important for your mental health. That’s often common knowledge, but it’s the biggest takeaway from an important part of this interview with a 6x Mr Olympia. Matthew Januszek listens to Dorian Yates on depression, mental health problems and how fitness helps, as part of his Escape Your Limits podcast episode.

Read on and take a look at the video below.

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Benefits of exercise are more than just for the body.

Dorian Yates knows how to lift physical weight, but he’s also come to appreciate how vital fitness is for lifting your mood and mindset.

“Exercise is so important for your mental health,” explains Dorian. “It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re exercising and get those neurotransmitters up, your dopamine and everything like that. I don’t think it matters what you’re doing, whether you’re running, lifting weights, doing yoga or whatever.

“I think it’s important to do something. Human beings were meant to move. Our body is meant to work; it’s meant to move. The more you move away from nature, I think the worse it is for us.”

What are the symptoms of mental health problems?

dealing with mental healthMental health illnesses, whether short or long term, can vary wildly. MIND, a mental health charity offers help for a variety of mental health problems and explains: “In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

“Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you're frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness, or even worse.

“Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.”

Dorian Yates felt a great sense of depression after retiring from bodybuilding, stating he didn’t know who he was anymore. He put his recovery down to concentration on fitness and wellbeing.

“I was very depressed for… I don’t know what period of time,” explains the 6x Mr Olympia, Dorian. “It was very intense. It slowly eased off as I involved myself in the business and realised there were other things to do. I could go out and socialise, I could go to nightclubs – all this stuff I couldn’t do before. I got a bit into the party scene and going out. It was a distraction I suppose. I had fun until it wasn’t fun anymore.

“Throughout everything, I never stopped training. I think that’s really what saved me from being worse.”



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