What is Exercise Based Therapy?

Exercise Based Therapy (EBT) is a therapeutic method that uses exercise at the centre of its approach. EBT draws on many proven methods and therapeutic tools including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Meditation (to name a few) and uses them in an exercise environment.

There are 4 main reasons this approach can be effective with people who struggle with mental health and wellbeing challenges.

  • Exercise has been proven to have a huge impact on mental health. This is because of the chemical reactions that occur in the brain during exercise and also the bodies’ reaction to movement. EBT also promotes healthy habits that focus on education which clients can use beyond their time with the service.
  • Strategies and tools such as breathwork can work hand-in-hand in an exercise environment. An example of this would be Box Breathing (4-4-4 Breathing). This can be taught in a squat movement where a person can breathe in at the start of the movement, hold their breath during the movement, and breath out at the top of the movement
  • Clients develop skills around goal setting, overcoming failure, resilience and persistence that can be learnt in a gym and transferred in to everyday life. These will assist them in overcoming challenges such as Anxiety, Depression and other mental health and wellbeing challenges.
  • EBT is focused on clients who may struggle with traditional talk therapies. It allows for a more informal setting where clients are given the opportunity to talk while engaging in physical activities

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