Is There A Connection Between Exercise And Mental Health?

Physical exercise has been repeatedly demonstrated to provide physical and mental boons. We human beings are integrated creatures. That means that our physical health impacts our mental health and vice versa. Therefore, by staying physically healthy and fit, we are also working to promote mental wellness. Research shows that this link between mental and physical health is important to keep in mind when parenting kids through the teen years. Exercise can play an important role in mental health and should not be overlooked as an important part of overall health.

As a matter of fact, physical exercise is needed to have proper fitness for the reason that fitness and exercise impact on systems of the overall body. Thus, it is highly recommended that we all should make exercise a regular part of our every routine. We must not skip it, just like most of us do not skip to use the internet and social media.

The results of a teen study conducted in the Netherlands showed a positive impact pertaining to the argument. A Dutch study questioned more than 7,000 teenagers between the ages of 11 and 16 years of age in order to prove the point. Kids were asked to describe their level of physical activity, involvement with team sports, family social/economic condition, family dynamics, and age. They were also asked how they felt about themselves, how they looked at others, and questions designed to probe their mental health. The interviews were later controlled to factor out anything besides the teen’s level of physical activity.

The study concluded that kids who were physically active enjoyed a greater degree of overall mental health. By contrast, kids who were less active experienced more anxiety, depression, aggressiveness, and a higher propensity toward substance abuse. The findings pointed toward a teen’s satisfaction with their body image along with more opportunities for social contact as reasons behind the benefits to mental wellness. A positive self-image and more opportunities to interact with peers were key reasons behind greater mental wellness. The researchers were quick to point out that the chemical reactions stimulated by exercise also contribute to a person’s sense of happiness and well-being.

Parents should take note that daily exercise is linked not only to improved physical health and wellness but to a person’s mental health as well. The psychosocial benefits of regular exercise could be attributed to the positive self-image which comes from personal fitness, the physiological boosts which result from exercise, or the social interactions gained from team experiences. Most likely, it is a combination of all three. The important thing to remember is that getting daily exercise makes a teen or anyone feel better inside and out. Thus, organized sports can be an effective means of preventing mental health problems among teens.

People of any age can enjoy the benefits of physical activity and exercise, but promoting exercise during the teen years could be especially helpful. Keeping teens involved in team sports can promote mental health, guard against negative behaviors, and set the pattern for a lifetime of healthy exercise.

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