EXERCISE: MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS PART 4

Improves Mood
· Students who exercise regularly show lower levels of anxiety, shyness, loneliness, and hopelessness than their less-active peers.

· Moderate, regular exercise has a positive impact on mood, vigor, psychological well-being, creativity, and self-esteem in all age groups.

· Animal studies show that regular exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and may alleviate some major depression.

Boosts Brain Power
· Exercise increases cerebral blood flow, increases neurotransmitter availability and efficiency, and affects brain structure.

· Small increases in aerobic fitness improve mental fitness, particularly executive control functions of the brain, which have to do with planning, coordinating, and filtering out distracting information.

· Animal and human studies show that repeated physical activity triggers chemical changes in the brain that enhance learning and memory.

· Children learn better when the brain is stimulated by exercising.

· People over age 60 who walk rapidly for 45 minutes 3 times a week can significantly improve mental processing abilities that would normally decline with age.

Helps You Sleep
· Exercise can help alleviate sleep problems in older adults.

· Exercise can be effective in improving reported sleep quality, depression, strength, and quality of life.

· Treating chronic fatigue with appropriate exercise can improve sleep and mood.

· Exercising in the evening does not disturb sleep.

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