The current lack of consistent exercise maintenance among a majority of American adults has resulted in a variety of negative symptoms, including obesity, that has put many individuals at an increased risk for a number of debilitating diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, certain cancers, and cardiovascular diseases, among others. The present review thus studies the effects of exercise on the mediation of stress and health. Specifically, exercise is believed to decrease stress both directly and indirectly, and its implementation in an individual is hypothesized to be one of the greatest predictors of beneficial health characteristics. The culmination of the positive biopsychosocial effects of exercise on stress and health result in a longer and happier life. Research on the effects of exercise in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertensive rats, obese adolescents and adults, and chronic spinal cord injury subjects are reviewed, among others. Integration and discussion of research on the physiological, psychological, and social benefits of exercise on health are discussed.
Brian Dooley, ’07 Minneapolis, MN
Majors: Biology, Physical Education
Sponsor: Melinda Green