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In the Press: Amanda Nigg’s Approach- Fitness as a Tool for Mental Health


As posted in Women's Journal:


In May, Mental Health Awareness Month, the importance of mental well-being comes to the forefront of public conversation. For Amanda, the founder of Farm Fit Training, mental health isn’t just a topic; it’s a cornerstone of her life and business. Her journey through adversity and her innovative approach to fitness offer a powerful testament to the transformative power of exercise for mental health.

Amanda’s Personal Struggle with Mental Health

Amanda’s journey into the world of fitness and mental health advocacy began in the most unexpected of ways. In 2020, amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amanda and her family faced a devastating loss when their home burned to the ground. The trauma of losing everything was compounded by the uncertainty and isolation brought on by the pandemic. Amanda recalls feeling mentally numb for days, struggling to process the enormity of her loss.

Despite the overwhelming grief and stress, Amanda found a lifeline in fitness. Her background in health promotion and a lifelong love of athletics gave her a foundation to turn to when her mental health plummeted. The physical act of working out provided not just a distraction, but a therapeutic release, helping her to rebuild her mental resilience day by day.

The Birth of Farm Fit Training

In the wake of the fire, Amanda’s husband began bringing her unconventional workout equipment—tires, rusty old farm tools, and anything else that could serve as weights. This creative approach to fitness sparked the idea for Farm Fit Training. Amanda started sharing her workouts on social media, and the response was overwhelming. People from the agricultural community and beyond were inspired by her resilience and innovation.

Amanda launched Farm Fit Training officially in February 2021. The program focuses on quick, effective workouts that require minimal equipment, making fitness accessible to everyone, especially those in the agricultural community who may not have access to a traditional gym.

Integrating Mental Health into Fitness Programs

Amanda’s personal experience with mental health struggles deeply influences her approach to coaching. Recognizing the strong connection between physical and mental health, she ensures that Farm Fit Training addresses both. All the coaches at Farm Fit Training are certified not only in personal training and nutrition but also in mental health.

Amanda emphasizes the importance of small, consistent actions to improve mental well-being through fitness. Here are some key strategies she employs in her programs:

Short, Effective Workouts: Amanda designs 15 to 25-minute workouts that fit into even the busiest schedules. These sessions are not only physically challenging but also mentally invigorating, providing a sense of accomplishment and boosting mood.

Community Support: The Farm Fit community is a crucial aspect of the program. Participants encourage and motivate each other, creating a supportive network that helps combat feelings of isolation and depression.

Holistic Health Focus: Amanda’s approach is comprehensive, addressing diet, exercise, and mental well-being. This holistic focus ensures that participants develop healthy habits that support long-term mental health.

Real-Life Transformation

The impact of Amanda’s program is evident in the success stories of her clients. One notable example is Tracy Johnson, who joined Farm Fit Training to improve her physical health. Through consistent participation, Tracy experienced significant mental health benefits as well. She was able to discontinue her high blood pressure and antidepressant medications, thanks to the positive changes in her lifestyle.

Another client, initially weighing 400 pounds, lost 180 pounds over two years with Amanda’s program. The physical transformation was paralleled by a profound improvement in his mental health, showcasing the powerful synergy between fitness and mental well-being.

A Mission Rooted in Personal Experience

Amanda’s dedication to mental health through fitness is deeply personal. Her own journey from the depths of despair to a place of strength and resilience fuels her mission to help others. Farm Fit Training is not just about physical transformation; it’s about empowering individuals to become their strongest, most resilient selves.

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, Amanda’s story reminds us of the critical role fitness can play in maintaining and improving mental health. Her innovative approach and unwavering commitment to her community demonstrate that even in the face of profound adversity, we can find strength, purpose, and healing through the power of physical activity.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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