After experiencing the life-changing impact of exercise and eating well, Rachel Collins is encouraging young people to get active to improve their mental health.
Her story was broadcast on ITV News Meridian (E) this month.
The 22-year-old from Brighton wants to help others her age recognise the psychological benefits of physical training and a healthy lifestyle.
‘Before I started this journey I was a couch potato,’ explains Rachel.
‘I would get up and go to work, come home, eat and then just sit in front of the telly. My mood was always quite low and so was my confidence.
‘I want to tell other young people that exercise can really help in all areas of life, including mental health.’
In the broadcast, Rachel is seen working out with a personal trainer. She explains that she’s learnt a lot about healthy eating and over the past year has lost two-and-a-half stone.
‘I’m completely different to how I used to be,’ Rachel says.
‘I’m eating more healthily, socialising more and feeling better about life and my mood.’
Dr Becky Jarvis also appears in the broadcast piece in support of Rachel’s campaign.
‘National evidence-based guidelines place exercise right at the beginning of treatment for anxiety and depression,’ Dr Jarvis says.
‘This is why Rachel’s project is so important. We need to get the message out to young people that the first thing they can do to help themselves is to start exercising.’
Rachel adds: ‘I now have more energy.
‘Before, when I came home from work I’d sit in my room, but now I come home buzzing from an exercise session.
‘My message is to get up off the couch and go to a class because it will change your life.’
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