Physical Activity Can Improve Mental Health Disorders | Sports
Almost half of American adults will report having a mental health disorder at some point in their life.
In many cases, these disorders are associated with inactive lifestyles.
Depression, for example, is a stress-related condition reported by 33% of inactive adults. For some, depression is a serious disorder that physical activity alone will not cure; however, research indicates that activity, combined with other forms of therapy, may be effective.
Anxiety is an emotional state characterized by worry, doubt and apprehension.
Several studies have shown that symptoms of anxiety can be reduced with physical activity. In particular, people in poor physical shape who engage in regular physical activity seem to benefit the most. In one study, a third of people said that regular activity helped them cope better with the pressures of life.
It’s no secret that physical activity is associated with better, more restful sleep.
People with insomnia seem to benefit from regular activity if it is not done too vigorously just before going to bed. A recent study found that 52% of the population felt that physical activity helped them sleep better.
One reason for this may be that regular aerobic activity is associated with reduced brain activation, which may result in an increased ability to relax or fall asleep.
Finally, regular exercise can improve self-esteem. Improving fitness, appearance, and the ability to perform new skills can improve self-confidence.