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Essay Paper on The Psychological Benefits of Exercise

Numerous studies show that people who exercise live longer, have healthier bodies, and are in a more positive psychological state than those who don’t.

Exercise may offer substantial potential alone or as an adjunct in improving the mental well being of many individuals. There are five important benefits that are associated with the potential use of exercise in such a role. First, exercise is cheap. Second, exercise carries negligible deleterious side effects. Third, exercise can be self-sustaining in that the individual can maintain it once the basic skills have been learnt. In some countries, the evidence for exercise and mental health has already been accepted and formalized into delivery systems. In Belgium, for instance, psychomotor therapy to treat depression and anxiety is now established in the health system.

For the vast majority of the public who are the likely targets of exercise -based interventions in health care, the positive relationships seem to hold firm, particularly with increasing age. Those who are involved in sport or exercise generally have a higher level of physical self-perceptions, including physical self-worth and body image and there is a tendency for them also to have higher self-esteem than their age-group peers.

Exercise is an excellent aid in managing depression. Even though exercise is often prescribed as a form of stress management today, it is clear that too much exercise can be detrimental. A moderate amount of exercise usually energizes you. Intense and extended exercise does not increase energy, at least not right afterwards. It uses up your energy and leaves you feeling exhausted. An example of excessive exercise comes from the overtraining of athletes, which can result not only in various physical disabilities but in pervasive fatigue and mood disorders. Being able to decide what is enough exercise, not too little or too much, is a key to coping with stress. What is appropriate is specific to you and depends on your goals and energy level.

The fact that physical activity creates feelings of pleasure makes sense when you realize that energy increases with exercise, especially moderate exercise. Energy feels good, and exercise is one of the most reliable producers of this pleasurable feeling. Exercise is also pleasurable because it reduces tension and anxiety. Enjoyable exercise experiences help you feel better about yourself in many different ways. Being fit contributes to your emotional wellness and ability to cope with stress. It also increases your mental vitality as well as your physical stamina to better meet life’s challenges.

Negative moods usually involve low energy, or too much tension for the energy available. When your energy is low, you are too tired to exercise. It doesn’t matter that exercise will relieve your tiredness and ultimately give you more energy.It is sometimes necessary to make the cognitive connection between exercise and elevated mood in order to motivate yourself to begin exercising. Still another way that exercise yields pleasure, but that most people do not think about, has to do with stress management. If we can control the negative effects of stress, we will feel pleasure. A sizable scientific literature shows that exercise seems to inoculate us against stress.

Even a moderate amount of physical activity, such as a daily dose of 30 minutes of brisk walking or 15 minutes of running, will help keep you well. More vigorous pursuits (including both endurance and strength-enhancing endeavors) result in greater health benefits. From the majority of studies that have been done on exercise and self-esteem, it appears that people rate themselves more positively when they exercise. Related to self-esteem is something called self-efficacy, or the belief that you can be successful at any particular task. Exercise strengthens self-efficacy, especially in relation to physical capabilities. Psychological well-being is still another characteristic that is strengthened by exercise…

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