psy 462 chapter 2

psy 462 chapter 2 - Hannah Bauss PSY 462 Chapter 2:...

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Hannah Bauss PSY 462 Chapter 2: Literature Review Physical activity is good for the body for many reasons: it keeps one in shape; it can increase physical health by decreasing cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.; it can help one lose weight or gain muscle; and it can make you feel better overall when you are finished – mentally and physically. In fact, physical activity has been proven to improve emotional health for people of all ages. While all of these aspects come into play and often influence one another, my main focus is how physical activity affects the emotional health of people, specifically children and adolescents. According to Dr. Johnsgard, “‘Daily activity makes us feel better, have more energy, and sleep more deeply’” (Stocker, 1993). Stocker (1993) claims that some of the first positive emotional changes related to exercise are caused by the “immediate payback” of losing weight and building muscle. They cause a boost in self-esteem. Weight loss and muscle gain can also create a sense of mastery for someone, increasing their confidence in other emotional and relational settings. One of the greatest emotional changes exercise provides is that it helps to dispel one’s anger (Stocker, 1993). This is an incredible use for exercise because it is a way to dissolve anger, or other emotions related to it, in a way that is not harmful to oneself or to others. In fact, it is a productive way to drive away anger because the person is improving their physical health at the same time. Scientists are still unsure of exactly what causes physical activity to decrease emotions like depression and anger, but there are several hypotheses available. Some believe that exercise is a shield for depression because it is a distraction from stressful events in our life, that it
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increases one’s recall of positive memories, or can even be a “time-out” to spend time alone without interruption with our thoughts and feelings (Stocker, 1993). Others believe that exercise works its effects through our brain chemistry. The APA has found that exercise can help the brain better cope with stress, which improves mental health. They believe that exercise affects our brain’s neurochemistry that is involved in our body’s stress response; which in turn affects one’s mental health. The APA has also found similar results to others studying the effects of physical activity: that people who exercise have lower rates of anxiety and depression. Some preliminary test results show evidence that exercise may cause the release of norepinephrine, a neurochemical that helps the brain deal more efficiently with stress ( Exercise fuels the brain’s stress buffers , APA). Another observation made is that “biologically, exercise seems to give the body a chance to practice dealing with stress.” It forces our physiological systems – the cardiovascular, renal, and muscular – to communicate more closely with each other and with the sympathetic and central nervous systems (
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2012 for the course PSY 462 taught by Professor Juliegarcia during the Spring '11 term at Cal Poly.

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psy 462 chapter 2 - Hannah Bauss PSY 462 Chapter 2:...

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