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The Many Benefits Of Exercise Essay

3050 words - 12 pages

Today in the United States roughly 155 million people are overweight or obese. The reason for this outrageous number is largely instigated from the lack of education about health and exercise. Exercise has a wide variety of positive effects on the body and mind that can be categorized into three main parts. Part one describes psychological benefits, including the influences exercise has on the mind and its functions, as well as the behavioral changes it presents. Part two explains the physical qualities that exercise can enhance. This effect incorporates the body as apposed to the mind. Exercise affects your overall body appearance and somatic health. Part three indicates the change it presents in your social life, this is the most unknown of the effects. Fitness can be the best type of holistic medication available to all persons. Knowing the psychological, physical, and social benefits of exercise can help a person implement more beneficial choices to create an overall healthier lifestyle.
Psychological Effects
It is uncommon for people to comprehend knowledge about the psychological benefits of exercise and physical fitness. However, the positives derived from it can impact the body to the same extent as the physical effects. The mental benefits range from things such as endorphin release, an active antidepressant and a positive way to fight anxiety. Exercise isn’t something most people want to do when they have anxiety or symptoms of depression, but research supports its ability to help you relax and feel better. These positive effects alone can provide enough reason to exercise.
Roughly five minutes after moderate physical activity many people start to feel a mood enhancement. This enhancement is due to something called endorphins. Endorphins are “feel-good” brain chemicals that have the tendency to ease depression. These chemicals are known as neurotransmitters, they function and transmit electrical signals in the nervous system. There are about 20 different types of endorphins in humans. Studies have shown that with higher endorphin levels humans feel less pain and experience fewer negative effects of stress. It is commonly called a “runners-high” that athletes get after prolonged exercise (Mayo Clinic, 2011). This increase in mood can be a great treatment for depression and its symptoms.
Data from a study, done by clinical psychologist James Blumenthal, has shown that active people are less depressed than inactive people. This antidepressant is a direct affect from the endorphins. A study “Psychosomatic Medicine, 2007 & 2010” was done and showed that exercise can be easily compared to an antidepressant drug. This experiment used four different groups suffering from depression including supervised exercise, home based exercise, anti-depressant therapy, and placebo. After following these patients they found that it can treat symptoms and also help prevent the symptoms from coming back. Regular...

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