Fitness obviously benefits the body in so many ways, but it can be easy to forget about the incredible effects exercise can have on a person’s mental health, too.
Courtney Lorking,18, once let her anxiety to become so severe that she couldn’t leave the house.
Eventually, it resulted in having to get stitches on her wrists after three suicide attempts in just four weeks.
“My anxiety had become so severe that I wanted to die,” Courtney recalled.
“I tried to kill myself by slitting my wrist, it was horrific, and I never want to feel that way again.”
Lorking was admitted to a psychiatric ward, where she stayed for three days to receive professional help. She calls that period as the worst in her life.
“I slept all day, and there was nothing to do there. You just feel like a prisoner.”
On leaving, she decided to try and turn her life around, to incorporate more exercise and movement into her life and headed to the nearest gym.
“Once I got out of hospital I told myself that I didn’t want to feel that way ever again, I don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
“I saw a psychologist and realised that I needed to listen to my body and put my health first. Going to the gym is like therapy for me, it really helps.”
“I just want to show people what fitness and fuelling your body correctly can do.”
The 18-year-old told The Daily Mail she’s currently studying to become a personal trainer, and hopes she can use her certification to help others improve their mental health.
Moreover, she wants to raise awareness about depression and anxiety in young women and is encouraging them to put themselves – and their health – first.
“If I start to feel down I’ll go to the gym or eat something really delicious that I enjoy,” says Courtney.
“I eat whatever my body is craving – if I feel like I want to eat pizza I go for it. Listen to your body, accept yourself for who you are and do what makes you happy.”
Above all, the teen wants people from all around the world to know they’re not alone in their struggles, and no one should ever be afraid to speak out about whatever they’re going through.