The Life's Learning Centre Blog

Healthy Mind = Healthy Body!

Posted on: July 3, 2009

healthy_body_healthy_mindThere are many links between mental health and physical well-being. The following article excerpt shares a few of the benefits of having a healthy mind. To read the article in it’s entirety please visit: Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity, It is worth the read and will provide insight as  to why having a healthy mind will help you achieve your dreams.

Positive effects of having a healthy mind:

“Positive mood: The Surgeon General’s Report also mentions the possibility of exercise improving mood. Unfortunately the area of increased positive mood as a result of acute and chronic exercise has only recently been investigated and therefore there are no meta-analytic reviews in this area. Many investigators are currently examining this subject and many of the preliminary results have been encouraging. It remains to be seen if the additive effects of these studies will result in conclusions that are as encouraging as the relationship between exercise and the alleviation of negative mood states like anxiety and depression.

Self-esteem: Related to the area of positive mood states is the area of physical activity and self-esteem. Although narrative reviews exist in the area of physical activity and enhancement of self-esteem, there are currently four meta-analytic reviews on this topic (Calfas & Taylor, 1994; Gruber, 1986; McDonald & Hodgdon, 1991; Spence, Poon, & Dyck, 1997). The number of studies in these meta-analyses ranged from 10 studies (Calfas & Taylor, 1994) to 51 studies (Spence et al., 1997). All four of the reviews found that physical activity/exercise brought about small, but statistically significant, increases in physical self-concept or self-esteem. These effects generalized across gender and age groups. In comparing self-esteem scores in children, Gruber (1986) found that aerobic fitness produced much larger effects on self-esteem scores than other types of physical education class activities (e.g., learning sports skills or perceptual-motor skills).

Restful sleep: Another area associated with positive mental health is the relationship between exercise and restful sleep. Two meta-analyses have been conducted on this topic (Kubitz, Landers, Petruzzello, & Han, 1996; O’Connor & Youngstedt, 1995). The studies reviewed have primarily examined sleep duration and total sleep time as well as measures derived from electroencephalographic (EEG) activity while subjects are in various stages of sleep. Operationally, sleep researchers have predicted that sleep duration, total sleep time, and the amount of high amplitude, slow wave EEG activity would be higher in physically fit individuals than those who are unfit (i.e., chronic effect) and higher on nights following exercise (i.e., acute effect). This prediction is based on the “compensatory” position, which posits that “fatiguing daytime activity (e.g., exercise) would probably result in a compensatory increase in the need for and depth of nighttime sleep, thereby facilitating recuperative, restorative and/or energy conservation processes” (Kubitz et al., p. 278). “


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