I always enjoy finding a new startup, especially when it involves work in health. Today's new find is an app called balanced, a wellness app for the 50+ consumer looking to get and stay fit and active. (and boost their mood/cognition and more in the process) Some of the most popular posts on this site are the ones around the brain-exercise connection.
Exercise is not only beneficial for physical health but also for mental health. As the famous saying goes, "a healthy mind resides in a healthy body." Exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, and improve overall cognitive function. Balanced, a fitness platform that offers on-demand and live-streaming classes, can be a great tool for improving mental health.
According to a TED Talk by neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki, exercise has a profound impact on the brain. She explains that exercise stimulates the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Exercise also increases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that promotes the growth and survival of neurons, which is essential for brain plasticity.
One of the unique features of Balanced is its focus on designing each class to the specific needs of older adults. The classes are created by physical therapists and fitness professionals, ensuring that they are safe and effective for individuals with different health conditions and injuries. This personalized approach can help individuals find the right exercise program that works for them, which can be especially important for those with mental health conditions.
In addition, Balanced offers a community aspect that can be beneficial for mental health. Members can connect with each other before and after classes, and the platform offers responsive tech support. This connection can help individuals feel supported and motivated, which is essential for sticking to an exercise routine.
It's important to note that exercise has been linked to improved mental health in numerous studies. Exercise can boost the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is essential for creating new neural connections and improving cognitive function. Exercise can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and promote feelings of well-being and self-esteem.
By combining the benefits of exercise with a personalized approach and a supportive community, Balanced can be an effective tool for improving mental health. Whether someone is dealing with a mental health condition or simply wants to improve their overall well-being, Balanced can provide a safe, effective, and enjoyable way to stay active and connected with others.
Using Balanced as a mental health tool is not only beneficial for individuals but can also be cost-effective for insurance providers. Balanced is in discussions with several insurance providers to offer the platform through Medicare Advantage plans, which offer free fitness benefits to their combined pool of 26 million members. Payers are keenly aware that exercise is effective and can support those they insure to exercise, which is true preventative care and cost-effective compared to other solutions.
Exercise is a powerful tool for improving mental health, and Balanced offers a convenient and personalized platform for individuals to incorporate exercise into their routine. With its community aspect and algorithm-based recommendations, Balanced can be a great tool for those looking to improve their mental health through exercise.