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Health Benefits of Physical Activity: The Evidence

Darren E.R. WarburtonCrystal Whitney NicolShannon S.D. Bredin

people joggingThere is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) and premature death. There appears to be a linear relation between physical activity and health status, such that a further increase in physical activity and fitness will lead to additional improvements in health status.

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Physical Activity for Cognitive and Mental Health in Youth

David Lubans, Justin Richards, Charles Hillman, Guy Faulkner, Mark Beauchamp, Michael Nilsson, Paul Kelly, Jordan Smith, Lauren Raine, Stuart Bidd

people runningTake a look at a conceptual model explaining the mechanisms for the effect of physical activity on cognitive and mental health in young people. The strongest evidence was found for improvements in physical self-perceptions, which accompanied enhanced self-esteem in the majority of studies measuring these outcomes.

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Exercise as Mental Health Therapy

exercise as mental health therapyInstitutions in both Canada and the United States are struggling to keep up with the increasing student demand for mental health services. Prior research has found a direct connection between exercise and improved mood. Physical activity has also been shown to be effective in alleviating mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

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