MELBOURNE cardiologist Geoff Toogood has revealed how regular exercise helped him regain control of his mental health and aided his recovery from depression.

Dr Toogood is a volunteer speaker for beyondblue, a national organisation that works to raise awareness of anxiety, depression and suicide prevention, reduce stigma and encourage people to seek support.

This year’s Australian Corporate Triathlon Series will help beyondblue provide vital support services for people around Australia affected by depression, anxiety and suicide.

Dr Toogood competed in the Melbourne Corporate Triathlon event earlier this month and with two more triathlons coming up in Sydney and the Gold Coast, he highlighted the positive effect exercise had on his own mental and physical health.

“I was on the brink, I was suicidal and I couldn’t see a way out,” Dr Toogood said.

“As an open water swimmer, it helps you to build up mental strength and gives you a goal to work towards.

“You need to focus on getting through the next stage of the swim.”

Despite tearing a calf muscle during the Melbourne event, Toogood said the Australian Corporate Triathlon Series was a wonderful initiative that highlighted the link between fitness, healthy relationships and mental well-being.

Dr Toogood said swimming regularly helped him manage his depression and reclaim control of his mental health. He encouraged others to take up exercise, not just for their physical health but for their mental well-being also.

Toogood said he became a beyondblue speaker because he wanted to share his experience and offer hope to people touched directly and indirectly by mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

Australian Corporate Triathlon Series events are run by Sports Media and Entertainment 360 and held in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Mental health professionals are available 24/7 at the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM-12AM) or email responses for information (within 24 hours).

If you want to enter the event go to: http://www.corporatetriathlonseries.com.au/