Physical exercise is useful for all ages for a varied of reasons starting with maintaining
a healthy weight, mood, range of motion in our joints, rehabilitate from illness,
cardiovascular health, maintenance and better rehabilitation in cancer patients,
bones strength, coping with stress and as relaxation.
Physical exercise is encouraged by all health related books, doctors, including guidelines issued by professional associations such as American Dietary Guidelines (2015).
Research shows that physical exercise can be prescribed in chronic conditions in mental health such as depression and anxiety.
Researcher Larry Leith (1994) describes research that proves that aerobic and anaerobic exercises,
at a recommended frequency of 3-4 times a week and of a minimal length of 15-20 minutes appear sufficient in significant reduction of depression and anxiety. If the program of exercise is at least for 9 weeks or longer trait anxiety is improved. Exercise especially on 12 weeks length duration, 4 or more times a week is shown as significantly influencing self esteem. Exercise duration of greater than an hour, including warm ups are more consistently associated with increase in self esteem.
Exercise can be a powerful influence on our mental outlook and emotions as well. Exercise dissipates negative emotions such as anxiety and anger and boosts “feel good” chemicals like endorphins. So exercise reduces negative emotions and increases positive emotions; sounds like a recipe for happiness.