Can exercising the body improve the mind
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This mind map illustrates the significant areas of healthy living, and their interaction between one another in creating a foundation for cognitive function.
By, Jane Genovese

Dear writer,
Thank you for choosing our group to help you find research sources to base your article on. We hope you find these references about how exercising the body can improve mental health both informative and resourceful as we have provided you a variety of sources. The relation of physical activity and exercise to mental health is that mental health is positively affected by vigorous physical activity. Aerobic activity plays a significant role in management and reduction of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Another positive effect of exercise is mental retardation; several studies have demonstrated that a comprehensive conditioning program can produce notable gains in IQ of an individual. Furthermore, additional studies have been conducted on the correlation of aerobic activities (such as yoga and tai chi) and academic performance of children, through standardized test scores. On the other hand, there are negative psychological effects of exercise such as addiction to exercise, exacerbation of anorexia nervosa, fatigue and exercise deprivation effects. We hope you use our empirical research and annotated bibliographies to conduct your article on.
Your research team,
Noha, Ghassan, Thanuja, and Raffi

Definitions

Exercising: is an activity that requires physical effort, carried out in order to sustain or improve health and fitness
Mental Health: is not only the absence of mental disorder but it is defined as a state of well being in which every individual realizes his/her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, able to work productively, and is able to make a contribution to her/his community.
Stress: the pressure or emotional strain on an individual
Meta Analysis: refers to a research strategy where instead of conducting new research with participants, the researchers examine the results of several previous studies. This is done with the purpose of gaining greater confidence in the results because of the larger pool of participants, as long as steps are taken to avoid errors that may have existed in the original studies.

History

Gohde J. (1999-2014) A History of the Mind-Body Connection

Acknowledgement of the body-mind connection has been relevant since man had time to contemplate, but prevailing medical theory and beliefs and practices throughout time had denied the very possibility of such interactions. During the time of ancient Greece health, happiness, and beauty were of most importance. Hippocrates (460BC - 370BC), had established an understanding of the complex connection of emotions to physiological order and pathological disorder. Plato (428BC - 348BC) emphasized in his time, the need for bodily exercise to properly develop the mind. Thus bodily exercise was one of the methods that Plato advocated in his Republic. During the Renaissance period Paracelsus (1493-1541) the founder of modern medicine, believed looking at the human body as a whole instead of just its parts. He believed in treating all aspects of the body rather than the part displaying disease. During the colonial era at around the 1700s, both Hermann Boerhaave, and William Cullen had made large contributions to the understanding of the body-mind connection. At the end of the 1900s, modern life starts to emerge. People went through the greatest most fundamental changes ever experienced by mankind, bringing with them the stressors of fast paced living. Industrialized urban societies, cutthroat business, and the luxuries, vices, and excesses of modern life all attribute to current mental health related issues. The onset of such environmental stressors had emphasised the importance of understanding the link between mental and physical health.During the progressive era of the twentieth-century medicine had started to drift away from the basic constructs that had been the foundation of medicine for so long, to being technologically reliant. This online article is beneficial in understanding the evolution of the body-mind connection, therefore allowing for better a better grasp of current views and ideologies.

Academic and psychological benefits of exercise in healthy children and adults

Barker, J. (2010, Apr 28). Exercise your brain; the adage about a healthy body leading to a healthy mind is being proven in the classroom. CanWest News.

This article is relevant to the research, because it identifies a positive correlation between exercising and children’s academic success. Baker, Jill puts a significant emphasize on children’s performance in school after exercising and the impact different duration of exercise has on test scores. Researchers have concluded, 20 minutes to 60 minutes of exercise can stimulate learning. A study was conducted in Naperville Central High School; where an experiment was completed to determine if the under performing students can academically succeed if they were involved in aerobic activities, prior to testing. Children that are active regularly, have relatively high GPAs. However, researchers have discovered, not all exercise can equivalently increase children’s academic success, instead it is specifically aerobic activities and organized sports that initiate learning, in comparison to muscular stretching. Nevertheless, with accumulating results, it is difficult to determine the specific intensity of exercise for each individual, thus intensity varies according to a child. It is relevant to note that, exercise does not impact all subjects similarly, for instance; improvement in math is easily responsive to exercise, than other subjects. This article outlines numerous experiment conducted to provide evidence on the positive association between exercising and academic performance. Therefore, this article will benefit you in highlighting the variables that are associated with exercise and children’s scholastic improvements.

Wang, C. (2013). Improving health among elementary school children: A comparison of aerobic and mind-body exercise.(Order No. AAI3543230, Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences,

A study was conducted to understand alternative exercise method’s effectiveness on stress level for children. Researchers discovered, western exercise increases stress in children due to competiveness and the emphasize on physical skills. Therefore, a study was completed to critique the development of mind-body exercise; for instance, Tai Chi and Yogo, and to understand the impact it has on children’s stress levels. This experiment was designed to compare; aerobic exercise (Energize) and mind body exercise (Health Qigong), programs with physical education provided by the school as a control group. The data was collected using; State-Trait Anxiety Inventory -1(STAIC-1), Heart Rate (HR), Sit-and-Reach (SR), and Body Mass Index (BMI) to associate the stress levels for both psychological and physical perspectives among children, within a 16 week duration. Results concluded, Health Qigong is as effective as Energize and Physical Education in reducing Heart Rate, stress levels (STAIC-1) and significant reduction in BMI. Therefore, this article is relevant to the question in hand because of the content reflecting the experiment on different physical activities and the accumulative data generated in relation to stress levels.

Reiss, C. B. (2010). The effects of mindful exercise on standardized test scores. (Order No. AAI3378421, Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, , 3750, cite:

The purpose of this article is to identify the association of mindful exercise (yoga and tai chi) and physical education (running and swimming), prior to standardized testing. The results were measured by standardized test scores for fourth and fifth grade students. Primary data were collected through student participation in mindful activities and overall reading scores. Secondary data were collected using improvements in components of reading, such as awareness, word identification, and reading fluency. In addition, the study investigated different physical activities effectiveness on children’s cognitive process. For instance, participation in mindful activities consist of movements that involve attention and concentration. Also, the research analyzes different fitness skills students applied to specific physical activities. It may be valuable to understand the effect different physical activities have among student’s standardized test scores. Results discovered in the study concluded, mindful exercise reduced stress levels and increased concentration and memory. Therefore, the study is essential to provide insights on children’s test scores in association to physical activities and their components.

Fowler, R. D. (2008). Exercise for the brain. PsycCRITIQUES, 53(36)

This article examines the book; Spark: The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain by John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman. Ratey strongly advocates on emotional and cognitive effects of physical activities to be essential. The novel contains information on studies that investigate exercises that are appropriate for dysfunction and puts into practice the exercise program that is necessary to improve and maintain brain function. Studies and personal experiences in psychotherapy sessions were incorporated in the novel to indicate participation in physical activities results in reduction of stress and depression levels. This article strongly acknowledges the studies Ratey conducted in universities to demonstrate the significant drop in depression, because of the involvement in physical activities. In addition, data provided by the novel states, woman involved in exercise, had 20 per cent lower chance to perform poorly in memory and intelligent testing. Therefore, this information is valuable to base your article on because it briefly summarizes the relevant information from Ratey’s novel and highlights the correlations between given variables.

Mind-body exercise connection

Dr Scott A. Paluska, Thomas L. Schwenk (2000), Physical Activity and Mental Health, Sports Medicine, Pg 167-180
Physical activity plays a big role in management of mental health problems such a depression and anxiety. The amount of physical activity was shown to be positively associated with over all well being. More aerobic exercise or strength training has proven to reduce depression symptoms. Physical activity can not prevent depression. Certain mental health issues respond better to physical activity.For example Acute anxiety responds better to exercise then chronic anxiety. Studies indicate that exercise for older adults or adolescents seems to be beneficial even though there hasn’t been many tests done. Too much physical activity may turn into overtraining & generate symptoms that mimic depression, through overtraining, fatigue and injuries. This is why finding the perfect balance of exercise for your personal benefit is key. Well controlled studies are needed to pinpoint exactly which other areas of the mental health are affected by physical activity.

C. B. Taylor, J. F. Sallis, R. Needle (1985), The Relation of physical activity and exercise to mental, pg 195-202
It has been claimed that exercise and physical activity have positive effects on mental health in both clinical and nonclinical ways. Mental health diseases play a huge role in public health. Other then the obvious helping get rid of anxiety, and relieving stress physical activity also helps reduce alcoholism, and substance abuse, improves a persons self image which help improve there social skills as well. There are also negatives with physical activity as too much leads to overtraining. This paper provides good evidence that physical activity has effects on mental health.

Muto, T., Higashi, T., & Verbeek, J. (2006). Evidence-based occupational health proceedings of the International Congress on Occupational Health Services held in Utsunomiya City, Japan between 1 and 3 December 2005. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Physical activity has been linked with better general physical health. It has also been linked with better mental health. According to a recent study; people that even get 20 minutes of physical activity per week, were less like to get psychological distress. Exercise helps people with severe depression, anxiety or chronic mental illness. (Harvard mental health letter 2005) Psychologists can assist patients in making behavioral changes to adopt physical activity to improve their mental health and general well being.

Penedo, Frank J., Dahn, Dahn, Jason R., Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity, volume 18, pg 189-193

Generally people that participate in physical activity have better mental and physical health. A study shows that physical activity interventions prove better health including physical health, quality of life, functional capacity and a persons mood swings. Physical activity in middle aged males is common but they still need to improve in younger children and older population. The area it needs most approval is in woman ages 40 and up. This study wants to promote physical activity to make people achieve better healthier lifestyles both mentally and physically. A psychologist can help a person incorporate thinking actively into their patients live, they can also do this at schools and other public institutions so people of all ages incorporate physical activity into their lives. Different research is being done today to see how physical activity affects obesity, cancer, cardio vascular disease, and mood swings. Due to many tests the plausible explanation for the results is that physical activity improves both physical and mental health.
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Cognitive aspect

DiscoveryHealth.com writers. "Mind-Body Exercise Connection" 14 July 2010. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/information/mind-body-exercise-connection.htm> 08 April 2014.

The study of new brain cell development or neurogenesis has eluded to the notion that neurons are continuously being created. During exercise there is an increase in micro blood vessels in the brain. These vessels are thought to give birth to new cells, thus linking exercise and neurogenesis. When muscles are used they require oxygen at a higher rate, making the heart pump faster therefor increasing circulation to the brain. In actuality the brain uses twenty five percent of the body’s oxygen intake. Exercise also creates endorphin that increase a sense of well being and allows for better memory retention. Therefore exercise positively affects the mind in both regeneration and through the release of chemicals. This article articulates the body-mind scientific connection with ease, and gives some superb clinical studies.

Colcombe, S., & Kramer, A. (2003). Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults. Psychological Science, 14(2), 125-130. doi:10.1111\1467-9280.t01-1-01430

A meta-analytic study was conducted to examine that aerobic fitness training enhances the cognitive vitality of healthy but sedentary older adults. Eighteen intervention studies published between 1966 and 2001 were entered into the analysis. Fitness training was found to have selective benefits for cognition, with the largest fitness induced benefits occurring for executive control processes. The magnitude of fitness effects on cognition was also moderated by a number of programmatic and methodological factors, including the length of the fitness-training intervention, the type of the intervention, the duration of training sessions, and the gender of the study participants. The results are discussed in terms of recent neuroscientific and psychological data that indicate cognitive and neural plasticity is maintained throughout the life span.

JAMES H. EWING, DAVID G. SCOTT, ARMANDO A. MENDEZ, and THOMAS J. MC BRIDE Perceptual and Motor Skills 1984 59:2 , 407-414

Studies of the effects of physical activity have led improvements in mood and cognition. In many studies the psychological benefits of exercise have been inferred from comparing trained athletes with college students. As a result, of several studies, it was seen that the most reported benefit of exercise has been mood elevation with some studies showing anti depressant effects comparable to those of psycho therapy. Other benefits include reduced anxiety, improved body image and well being. Two major findings of this study were that negative mood items decreased significantly for all subjects over the course of the study; this indicates that they initially felt some psychological stress but then diminished and a generalized sense of relief was found. Additionally, the positive mood items were found to increase in the exercising subjects and so appears to reflect an enhancement of affect distinct from the more generalized sense of stress reduction. The change in mood shows energy, vigor, optimism and well being which were not evident in the non exercising group. The second major finding is that the lack of effects of aerobic exercise on cognitive states as measured by primary process and movement responses to project stimuli; implying that the exercising requires a more controlled and purposeful mode of cognition .

Neurophysiology

Perna, R., & Monto, K. (2006). Neurophysiology: Basis for the benefits of exercise on physical and mental health. PsycCRITIQUES, 51(34) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0003443

For a long period of time exercise has been linked with both physical and mental benefits. It is associated with a multitude of health benefits, including improved mood, immunological and cognitive functioning. studies have shown that most of the brain related benefits associated with exercise are also associated with increase in brain derived neurotrophic factors which make the neurons healthy, promote neuron growth and improve learning and memory. the broad support for cognitive enhancement resulting from exercise cause some researchers to suggest that exercise could slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

With age, cognitive functions decline and this is mostly recognized in executive functioning such as problem solving and attention as well as memory. with progressive neuronal loss, there is a loss of cerebral reserve and a decline in neural-mediated cognitive and physical functioning which is shown through imaging studies. The imaging studies provide evidence that with age and cognitive decline, individuals develop different, and at times inefficient brain recruitment patterns. these patterns are the result of a subconscious effort to summon the cognitive resources necessary to complete a task.

A meta-analysis supports the contention that exercise has both selective and generalized effects on cognitive functioning. Some evidence indicates that the larger exercise related cognitive enhancements are in areas that often decline with age such as memory. The mechanism of action of these effects has not been well clarified in the research literature, but it is suspected that exercise and physical activity exert a positive effect on cognition through up-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, increased levels of dopamine and serotonin, and also through synaptogenesis and neurogenesis, which are greatly increased with exercise.

Stress can elicit widespread activation of catecholaminergic neurons, increasing the monoaminergic and glutamatergic activity in several brain areas. Cortical norepinephrine and dopamine projections may represent a component of a globally activated catecholaminergic system that is responsible for stress-induced anxiety . Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has been linked to sleep, mood, depressed motor neuron excitability, autonomic and endocrine function, and suppressed appetite. Additionally, animal studies have shown that cerebral serotonin content increases during prolonged exercise
Neurotransmitter systems influence each other and are linked to the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis . The HPA axis and the sympathetic nervous system are central to the body's response to stress. Results show that central serotonergic systems act on the sympathetic nervous system and the HPA and that, reciprocally, glucocorticoids and catecholamines deprived from sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal cortex and medulla affect central serotonergic systems. In pathological situations, such as in major depression and possibly also in over training , the glucocorticoids and the brain monoaminergic systems fail to restrain the HPA response to stress.

Depression

Weinstein, A., Deuster, P., Francis, J., Beadling, C., & Kop, W. (2010). The role of depression in short-term mood and fatigue responses to acute exercise. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 17(1), 51-57. doi:10.1007/s12529-009-9046-4

Depression is the most common mental disorder in the USA with prevalence rates ranging from 3.3% to 17.1% [1].
Individuals with depression are disproportionately physically sedentary and have lower fitness levels than the general population. this difference may occur for several reasons including lack of motivation or commitment. Cross sectional studies have found that active individuals report lower scores on depression scales than sedentary individuals. Several mechanisms may explain the mood enhancing effects of exercise in non depressed, physically active individuals, to include psychological factors, social processes and physiological mechanisms. However, the time trajectory of positive outcomes has not yet been demonstrated. In addition, non exercisers do not have the reduction in fatigue following acute exercise that is shown in exercisers; this is because sedentary individuals may initiate exercise at a high intensity level. These findings indicate that depressed individuals have increased negative mood 30 min post-exercise which may partially explain reduced initiation and adherence to exercise programs in depression.

Perna, R., & Monto, K. (2006). Neurophysiology: Basis for the benefits of exercise on physical and mental health. PsycCRITIQUES, 51(34) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0003443

Aerobic exercise seems to be effective in improving general mood, decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety and improving cognitive function in healthy individuals and psychiatric patients. this occurs through diverse neurotransmitter, hormonal and other physiological changes. Acute exercise increases norepinephrine levels in the frontal cortex and increased serotonergic secretion in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, and other brain regions. Brain neurotransmitter activity has been implicated in the regulation of cardiovascular and endocrine responses during exercise, and the central mono-amines is the neurotransmitter that strongly helps with mood elevating and anxiolytic effects of exercise. Monoamines modulate a wide range of functions in the central nervous system and are present in mood stability and emotional disorders. Norepinephrine neurons are involved in cardiovascular function, sleep, depression, and analgesic responses; dopaminergic neurons are linked with motor function ; and serotonergic activity is associated with pain, fatigue, appetite, and sleep. Furthermore, exercise-induced altered brain monoamine activity explains reductions in major depression and anxiety reported by humans after exercise.

Roshanaei-Moghaddam, B., Katon, W. J., & Russo, J. (2009). The longitudinal effects of depression on physical activity. General Hospital Psychiatry, 31(4), 306-315. doi:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2009.04.002

Eight of eleven studies reviewed found that depression was a significant risk factor for development of sedentary lifestyle or a decreased level of physical exercise. Given the importance of physical activity in maintaining health, it is important that future studies examine mechanisms by which depression may lead to decline in activity.

Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBSVZdTQmDs
This video argues that while exercise is good for the body, it is more important for the brain; especially when it regards to students in the classroom. Scientific studies and real world examples are given to prove his point. He also demonstrates how we can raise test scores, lower behavioral problems, and help the overall well-being of today's students with fitness based physical education.

http:youtu-be-hiqh4pywffk

Referencing

  1. Barker, Jill. (2010) Exercise your brain; The adage about a healthy body leading to a healthy mind is being proven in the classroom.. Proquest . Retrieved March 25, 2014, from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/docview/230641391/2323263D044A403EPQ/8?accountid=15182
  2. C. B. Taylor, J. F. Sallis, R. Needle (1985), The Relation of physical activity and exercise to mental, pg 195-202 cite: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1424736/
  3. Colcombe, S., & Kramer, A. (2003). Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults. Psychological Science, 14(2), 125-130. doi:10.1111\1467-9280.t01-1-01430
  4. Colditz, G. A. K. Y. Wolin, et al. (2012). “Applying What We Know To Accelerate Cancer Prevention.” Science Translational Medicine 4(127)rv124-127rv124.
  5. DiscoveryHealth.com writers. "Mind-Body Exercise Connection" 14 July 2010. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/information/mind-body-exercise-connection.htm> 08 April 2014.
  6. Dr Scott A. Paluska, Thomas L. Schwenk (2000), Physical Activity and Mental Health, Sports Medicine, Pg 167-180 cite: http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200029030-00003
  7. Fowler, R. D. (2008). Exercise for the brain. PsycCRITIQUES, 53(36) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/docview/622076310?accountid=15182
  8. Gohde J. (1999-2014) A History of the Mind-Body Connection, retrieved from http://naturalhealthperspective.com/tutorials/history-mind-body-connection.html
  9. JAMES H. EWING, DAVID G. SCOTT, ARMANDO A. MENDEZ, and THOMAS J. MC BRIDE (1984) EFFECTS OF AEROBIC EXERCISE UPON AFFECT AND COGNITION. Perceptual and Motor Skills: Volume 59, Issue , pp. 407-414. doi: 10.2466/pms.1984.59.2.407
  10. Muto, T., Higashi, T., & Verbeek, J. (2006). Evidence-based occupational health proceedings of the International Congress on Occupational Health Services held in Utsunomiya City, Japan between 1 and 3 December 2005. Amsterdam: Elsevier. cite: http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/health-care/role.aspx
  11. Penedo, Frank J., Dahn, Dahn, Jason R., Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity, volume 18, pg 189-193 cite:http://journals.lww.com/co-psychiatry/Abstract/2005/03000/Exercise_and_well_being__a_review_of_mental_and.13.aspx
  12. Perna, R., & Monto, K. (2006). Neurophysiology: Basis for the benefits of exercise on physical and mental health. PsycCRITIQUES, 51(34) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/docview/614197711?accountid=15182
  13. Reiss, C. B. (2010). The effects of mindful exercise on standardized test scores. (Order No. AAI3378421, Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, , 3750. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/docview/742984910?accountid=15182. (742984910; 2010-99070-032)
  14. Wang, C. (2013). Improving health among elementary school children: A comparison of aerobic and mind-body exercise.(Order No. AAI3543230, Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/docview/1442390988?accountid=15182. (1442390988; 2013-99170-373)
  15. Weinstein, A. A., Deuster, P. A., Francis, J. L., Beadling, C., & Kop, W. J. (2010). The role of depression in short-term mood and fatigue responses to acute exercise. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 17(1), 51-57. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12529-009-9046-4
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