Much has been written about the benefits of exercise in physical and mental health, and hundreds of studies prove it.
Through daily exercise, it is possible to change someone’s body shape, mood and life quality. It usually provides a longer and better life, preventing and combating many diseases such as heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, strokes, hypercholesterolemia, cancer, arthritis, etc.
Through frequent exercise, the cardiorespiratory, immune and muscular system is enhanced and, at the same time, quality sleep and mood are improved.
It has been found that aerobic exercise of long duration and moderate intensity leads to an increase in metabolism from 5 to 8 times and the oxidation of fatty acids, while aerobic exercise of high intensity leads to the consumption of excess oxygen, even after the end of the exercise with the corresponding high calorie burning.
Physical exercise is suitable for all age groups and its beneficial effects are particularly useful in the elderly, where ageing causes a reduction in muscle tissue, bone mass and loss of physical strength and flexibility. Daily exercise helps in maintaining basic body functions such as movement, vision, touch and hearing, improving the quality of life.
Many experimental studies also show the positive effects of physical activity on the mental health aspect. The increase of body temperature through exercise leads to the production and secretion of monones such as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine, which have therapeutic effects and improve depression symptoms. Similar production in the brain also occurs in endorphins that have, among others, a painkiller role and cause stress reduction as well as feelings of euphoria and self-confidence (O’Neal et al., 2000).
Regarding depression diagnosis, it has been found that daily exercise offers more positive results in an individual’s mood than to those who are not exercising. The type of exercises currently preferred for individuals suffering from depression are aerobic exercise programs such as walking and jogging, but also anaerobic exercise seems to have the same positive results. The combination of exercise and psychotherapy offers the greatest results and is the most appropriate solution.
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