Exercise is Good for the 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 hormones which can affect mood and anxiety level.