1. It's good for your whole being
2. Exercise promotes weight loss
3. Exercise prevents osteoporosis
4. Exercise lowers high blood pressure
5. Exercise is an excellent de-stressor
6. Exercise prevents colds
7. Exercise has anti-ageing effects
8. Exercise promotes brain health
9. Exercise improves sleeping patterns
and my favourite. . .
10. Exercise is good for mind and soul.
In a synopsis on “Exercise, Fitness and Mental Health” (1990), sports psychologist D.R. Brown summarised the possible beneficial effects that exercise has on mental health. These include the following:
Exercise may act as a temporary diversion to daily stresses.
Exercise provides an opportunity for social interaction that may otherwise be lacking in an individual’s life.
Exercise provides an opportunity for self-mastery. Increasing fitness or improving body composition and other health parameters may improve an individual’s self-esteem.
Increased core temperature during exercise may lead to reduced muscle tension or alterations to brain neurotransmitters.
Mood improvements may occur due to the increased secretion of endogenous (internal) opiates e.g. endorphins
Psychological changes may occur due to alterations in norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, all hormones which can affect mood and anxiety level.