Using fitness to achieve good mental health has long made sense to Corbin Bednarik.
A Greater Victoria-based clinical exercise physiologist and kinesiologist with experience in chronic disease management and rehabilitation, he has seen firsthand how one’s physical state can affect their mental and emotional state.
But it wasn’t until after his sister, Sydney, took her life in 2017 after years hiding internal struggles that Corbin was compelled to find a way to directly help people battling depression manage their condition through exercise.
He is developing Elate Fitness as an individualized, app-based exercise program, with professional guidance and personal supports to keep you on track. “Our ultimate goal is to become a source for you to use exercise to improve your mental health, your self-esteem and your self-confidence,” he says.
Mental illness prevalent in society
Understanding Sydney’s story drove Corbin’s efforts to create an effective, easy-to-use solution, he says. “What I’ve noticed since I’ve started researching this is it affects everyone; we all have some level of mental illness or problem that affects our well-being,” he says. “People know physical exercise is important, they just don’t realize the effect it can have on your mental health. It comes down to how hormones and chemicals are balanced in your body – your physical health, sleep and diet all have an impact on that.”
Crowdfunding campaign shaping the program
If you like the idea of using exercise to boost your overall well-being, you can help get this unique program to the next level. A crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.com is raising money to help create the videos that will become a key part of the program. Campaign backers receive a discount on memberships when Elate Fitness goes live this summer, and special discounts on future offerings.
Experienced team on board
As the idea for Elate Fitness developed, Corbin assembled his team. He brought on board childhood friend Rosie Hourigan, who herself has battled depression with exercise and therapy; and Sydney’s good friend Rebecca Vale, a personal trainer and kinesiologist with a keen interest in the mind-body connection. Their personal experiences and interests give them unique perspectives that will help members achieve their goals, Corbin says.
Rosie is in Member Support, while Rebecca serves as Personalized Programs Mentor. Given the current state of mass isolation and challenges with staying socially connected, the mentoring and encouragement built into Elate Fitness’ programs will be particularly important, Corbin says.
You can find more information about Elate Fitness programs by visiting elatefitness.ca or the indiegogo page, or by emailing Corbin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up with their latest news on Facebook or Instagram.