DUBBO residents are being encouraged to move to improve their mental health and speak to their doctor about what support exercise physiologists can offer.
"Exercise is the best, cheapest and most easily accessible medicine available," exercise physiologist Rosalie Prout said in an interview to mark World Mental Health Day on Thursday.
According to Ms Prout, who works with people who have chronic and complex health conditions such as depression and anxiety, regular exercise is a proven way to easily improve everyone's mental health.
"There's a huge amount of research to support that," she said.
"Here we're really focused on getting people moving more, starting small and then building up from there.
"We set realistic goals. There isn't a one size fits all type model.
"If people aren't moving it will affect their physical health and their mental health will continue to be a challenge."
Ms Prout said motivation was the biggest barrier that stopped people from exercising or having a conversation with their GP about how physical activity could help treat mental ill health.
"Exercise physiology is recognised by Medicare and private health funds," she advised.
"A GP can set-up a coordinated chronic care plan which gives people up to five Medicare funded visits to an exercise physiologist, dietitian or other eligible providers."
Watching people progress on their exercise journeys was one of the best parts of the job, Ms Prout said.
"I've seen clients who have really struggled to exercise on their own.
"They are fine doing it with me but once they start to exercise on their own that's a huge goal achieved. We're often cheering like 'yay, you didn't need me you're doing it yourself'."
Improved confidence, sleep and blood pressure, along with a stronger desire to be involved in the community and more energy were just some of the benefits people with mental ill health have experienced after starting to exercise regularly, Ms Prout said.
"Dubbo has a lot of exercise physiologists and personal trainers, we're really resourced," she said.
"We need more, we just need to get them out to Dubbo."