Physical exercise is very important because it helps improve the growth of the brain cells which in turns greatly secure health. Physical exercise actually comes along with positive factors. How did physical exercise come about? Here is the reason; the embodiment of ancient Greek civilian is the idea that “physical well-being is necessary for mental well-being and the appreciation for beauty of the body and importance of health and fitness throughout society is one that is unparalleled in history, physical exercise was first emerged in Europe” (Fortes). Therefore, “During the industrial revolution, Dr. W.A Guy of King’s College contrasted mortality rates among sedentary and physically active workers which favored the latter” (Fortes). And since then, physical exercise has been recognized and studied to prove the benefits.
The first physical exercise to be recognized. Therefore, gymnastic was the first of many sports emerged in the nations of Europe in 1700 – 1850.
Physical exercise comes with so many benefits that are uncountable. Even, President John F. Kennedy was a big advocate to health related benefits. According history, “Kennedy spoke openly about the need for American citizens to improve their fitness level, including writing an article in sports illustrated entitle ‘The Soft American’ and he stated we are under- exercise as a nation; we look instead of play; we ride instead of walk” (Fortes). Kennedy’s commitment to fitness can best be summarized when he said, “physical fitness is the basis for all other form of excellence”. This was in 1950.
The most participated games during those times as physical activities and games were wrestling, running, fencing, vaulting, dancing, fencing, and riding. There are natural movements that were already in place so people create the opportunity to move naturally by running, jumping, crawling, balancing, climbing, and carrying and so on. The reason for physical activities in the early ages was to prepare for battle. There are several exercises that can help improve the health status of human beings which cost no dime for them to be performed. But physical exercise impact on humans in this 21st century is a modern one that only not help prepare people for battle but also help improve physical health, neurological health, cognitive functioning and lifestyle benefits of exercise can lead to better academic performance.
Psychological health is mostly important and it’s one of the outcome benefits when one engages in physical exercise. It is basically, how the mind or brain, thoughts, emotions and feelings are able to cope everyday life activities. Some of the benefits connected to the psychological health benefits are;
First of all, it improves positive mood, exercise can cause the release to feel good and push away bad moods. According to McClain, “the most effective mood- regulating behavior and the best general strategy to change bad mood is a combination of relaxation, stress management, cognitive and exercise techniques”. One can be in a happier mood after partaking in physical exercise because even though exercise makes the body tired, it also help the body to relax by taking a nap to refresh the mind and mood to be able to cope.
Self-Esteem is improved psychologically through exercise. There is no way to improve positive mood without living a happy life. Depression, anxiety and stress are caused by low self-esteem which negatively has effects on academic performances and jobs. But with exercise helping with positive mood, the higher and positively the self-esteem goes up. Moods are always not the same naturally. An inactive person seems to look sad and unhappy than people who are always active. In other to boost one’s self- esteem, swimming and treadmill are few exercise activities that can help too.
In a psychological way, exercise distract or alleviate stress and help focus on daily activities. It could be work, and personal problems. The mind is in such a way that when there are many problems, and there is no particular one to focus on at a time, it will pile up. So simply, exercise give people the immediate tasks to focus on their energy. Emotional state can be affected due to stress. Strong emotions can be an unfortunate side effect on stressful events.
Responses to the psychological stressors used in this study may reflect the way individuals typically respond to daily stressors, suggesting that regular exercisers are more resistant to the emotional effects of acute stress, which in turn, may protect them against diseases related to chronic stress burden (Frontiers in Psychology). Stress is one of the problems that hinder the brain productivity for better operation in terms of thinking and acting. Therefore, exercise is one of the most techniques that can be used to manage stress. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is defined as “a state of well- being in which every individual realize his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.
Depression is categorized under the psychological health disorder. And it is one of the most usual or regular mental problem that have negative impact on people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, “350 million people are estimated to be suffering from depression. Even scarier is the fact that depression is on the rise. It is set to be the second biggest medical condition by 2020” (WHO). With all being said, the only thing that weakened depression is exercise. Apart from exercise, drugs can be used too but exercise is in a kind of natural way to help solve the depression problem. Therefore, exercise is just as perfect as other way to lessen depression. And the other hand, physical exercise does not cost any money for it to be done. Also, preventing depression through exercise is far better that fighting it. Since there is a saying that goes “prevention is better than cure”
Another benefit of physical exercise is the neurobiological benefits. These benefits relate to behavior and learning that directly tell or show how the body affects the mind and it’s vice versa. It is basically how the body and mind works. For instance, the most complex organ in the human bod is the brain. It is like a computer that helps operates the system. So the more exercise people do, the more they adopt new things or learn to adapt to them by learning to operate or handle them. For example, after exercising, the body hurt, but the mind which is the brain is not really sure if the body wants to that the next time because its not the brain that is hurting but the body. Therefore, exercise enhances the body of the brain and then feed the brain with information for it to operate at a certain level.
Neurologically, exercise increases resilience to stress. Exercise is considered a great way to overcome or defeat stress. According to JNeurosci “one possibility is that the hippocampus of runners has an entirely different response to stress than the hippocampus of sedentary animals, one that involves dampening activity neurons” (Timothy). According to the experiment, they used mice that and those that did not. And the result of this experiment shows that exercise actually reorganizes the structure of the brain to react differently to a stressful situation.
Different to stressful situation. Another result find during the experiment was that there was a notice in the brain to increase the release of a specific neurotransmitter when a stressful situation was encountered. Neurotransmitter is the chemical in the brain that send massages to every part of the brain and the body .Research reported in preceding of the National Academy of Science also concluded that Aerobic exercise not only improves but also prevent shrinkage in the hippocampus ,our money center. A year study of seniors over sixty divided into two groups (toners versus aerobic exercisers ) found that the interior hippocampus actually shrank, on average, more than one percent for the toners ,versus an average aim of two percent for aerobic exercisers (Henner). With this exponent, it simply helps explained how exercise can help reduce the level of stress. Therefore, those who exercise can cope and overcome stressful situation in day to day activities. If one is able to conquer stress by exercising then the result will end up pretty well as in better health better positive decision making.
Increasing energy and reducing of fatigue is one of the benefits also under neurobiological benefit of exercise. The more one partake in exercise, the more energy they get. And while energy is gained, it decreases the rate at which the persons fatigue is to be down. And if all this happens it will help the dopamine and serotonin. Both of these organs are neurotransmitters that carry electrical signals between neurons in the brain. From a neurotically point, of view, “there are hormones in the brain associated with positive emotions. Dopamine is a hormone associated with happiness and serotonin regulates mood. When a person is physically attracted to another, an activation of dopamine and serotonin increased and production of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces pain perception and increases emotional connection one person have with the other occurs” (Baixauli). As the quote explains, this shows that when a person exercise and the body get sour, there can be tiredness or fatigue but naturally there is no oxytocin that reduces the pain. And as the pain reduces, the more the energy level will be increasing as well as the less fatigue the person will experience because through the pain one can be fit and once the fitness is there, hardly they will feel the fatigue. So therefore, exercise help protects against mental fatigue.
Exercise help in the development of the brain more and help slow down brain atrophy. The more people grow the more they are at the verge of forgetting things and recollecting things of the past becomes a difficult thing. This happens naturally. And when this happens, it can affect the memory, cognitive abilities and a slow life. According to scientific reports, ” Aerobic training is also effective at increasing over all brain tissue volume and is associated with improved cognitive functioning among older adults, thus the accumulating evidence strongly suggests that regular physical exercise is associated with increased hippocampal volume and enhance cognitive functioning among developing children and elderly” (William). Basically, this research shows that the natural shrinkage of the brain may be prevented through regular physical exercise. And since the hippocampus is a small organ located within the brain that associate with memory the moment it shrinks, it shuts the body down as well. Physical exercise also increases the birth of new brain cells. The term for developing new brain cells is called neurogenesis. There is a scientific brain chemical called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) that helps in processing the brain. According to a research, conducted by Erikson, he stated that “in fact
we found here that changes in serum BDNF level were associated with change in anterior hippocampal volume; an important link because the hippocampus rich in BDNF, and BDNF levels increases with exercise treatments in both rodents and humans? Memory improves after exercising but according to this study they noted that the outcome of exercising is having a different view than normal physical activity. So simply, walking may not generate increased in BDNF to the brain.
Cognitive Functioning is also one of the benefits of exercising. Talking about cognitive abilities, they are very important because they help in how people learn; remembering of a thing, being focus and general it is what helps in solving problems or having the knowledge to deal with certain things at a time. Even though there might be other ways to improve cognitive functioning, exercise is one of the best ways one can improve cognitive behavior.
Exercise helps with the improvement of executive functions in order to increase the cognitive potential. Executive function can be said to be the way people plan, organize, solving problems and finding solution but in general, it’s all about being a multitask person that can handle stuffs and still function well as a person. And how does physical exercise relate to executive functioning. It is possible that they relate because physical exercise is a lot of work than what some people may be thinking. Time and effort put in exercising, how serious and focus the person is, is not just up to nothing but it is up to something. For example; somebody who is overweight wants to lose weight and decided on exercising in order to lose it. First of all, that person knows about what it takes to be successful therefore have to plan towards, and
be devoted in other to achieve the outcome results. PubMed stated “Although more research
considered across the age groups, ample evidence indicates that regular engagement is aerobic exercise can improve a simple means for healthy people to optimize a range of executive functions” (Guiney).
Focusing can be increased with the help of exercising. Everything a person does, there must be a focus in other to get a good result at the end. Physically active individuals is more of a focus person. And the brain becomes active too. A disturbed person will definitely have difficulties on focusing. Therefore, attention and processing speed is what sustained focus of cognitive behavior which help in concentrating and fast processing of information.
Exercising better help in controlling emotions. Being able to control emotions is part of how a person apply the cognitive skills. There is not going to be happy day or good day all the time and same to bad or sad days but there are things to do that can help keep people’s minds of the negative, which is the bad day. For instance, a student who had bad grades in some of the classes is sad because the parents are not going to be happy with the bad grades. Should this sad student to the bar or always alone in the dorm help forget about being sad or not? It is rather going to make it worst and worst because being in the bar or in the dorm along is not going to change the sad mood. But let this student go into the school gym and play basketball with the other students. The time spent playing basketball occupied the sadness thereby changing the sad mood at that moment to a happy and good mood. Therefore, an increase in emotional control is the decrease in emotional stress.
Increase in mental alertness, better attentiveness, better in switching thinking simultaneously are some benefits that one can obtain from exercising. For people to be on the track in their day to day activities, then exercising is very important because it keeps people to be more active. Students especially go through school pressure. So imagining student athletes that fight for good grades in class and also compete on the field of playing sports in other to win. And some even work in other to get some money for up keeping. It is a multiple tasking because doing several things at a time is about switching thinking modes, attention and hard work. And same can be applied to jobs because there are a lot of responsibilities demanded to be successful in any other job. Thus amount of aerobic exercise help with more alertness if the person is active. And being active help a busy life to be successful.
Exercise helps long term memory and sharpens short term memory. Memory is greatly improved by regular exercisers. However, memory is interrupted by stress. Therefore, “exercising helps you maintain your strength and cardiovascular condition, and thereby keeps you physically ready for memory tasks. It also helps relieve you of the ‘blues’, lessens stress, improves sleep, and enhances digestion – all which help memory” (Herrmann). Hermann
explained better in the book about how sleeping kelp sharpen the memory. After exercising what happens is tiredness and when this happens, sleep is the next to follow which helps the body get relaxed as well as the memory. Exercising connect to relaxation therefore,
“Proper sleep obviously makes a person strong and alert for
memory tasks. Getting sufficient sleep before an exam or an
interview is essential in order for you to remember quickly and
accurately. We all can recall occasions when we were forced to
stay awake much longer than usual and fumbled for our words
and struggled to remember answers the nest day that normally
would have remembered easily.” (Herrman).
Despite the tiredness after exercising, it leads to relaxation and better sleep that helps the
memory in fast thinking. The reality of exercising is that it betters lifestyles which is also another benefit. Exercising always is not going to be easy but the results of it is worth it because it has a lot of benefits that one can think of.
Exercise helps in the treatment of anxiety disorders. This disorder can be fear, worry or distress and it affects almost everybody once in a while. According to a journal, “exercise is often the first step in lifestyle modifications for the prevention and management of chronic diseases” (Anderson and Shivakumar). Therefore, regular exercise and physical activity can lower the number of chronic diseases. And if exercising can kelp with the treatment of anxiety, same way it can reduce the risk of stroke.
Quality sleep improvement is a lifestyle benefit too. Many people are sleep deprive, especially the college students. Taking sleeping pill can help solve the sleep deprivation problem but again exercising is the natural way solution to it. Having a brain that function efficiently can be due to a better sleep. Whereas having difficulties in sleeping can be the cause of anxiety, stress, and depression which is known to be insomnia. There is a growing consensus that regular exercise can improve sleep (Youngstedt, O’Connor, and Dishman). Lack of sleep can lead to migraines and headaches.