-- Scientific American (1883)
-- William James (1958)
-- Brutus Hamilton (1964)
-- George Sheehan (1978)
-- Noel Carroll (1981)
Psychological Benefits of Running
Exercise and Happiness
In one random survey (Carter, 1977) it was found that 72% of those who exercised sufficiently to maintain moderate levels of fitness, claimed that they were "very happy". In groups of subjects who answered that they were either "pretty happy" or "not so happy", only slightly more than one third were physically fit.
Reduction of Tension & Anxiety
Anxiety levels in both normal and anxious people are reduced after vigorous exercise in both the laboratory and out of doors (Bahrke & Morgan, 1981). Running has been used in the management of those with severe anxieties (Berger, 1984). When compared to a single dose of tranquilizer, a single exercise bout has a significantly greater effect on resting muscle tension. De Vries (1981) concluded that exercise has a substantial acute and long-term tranquilizing effect. Runners also exhibit less anxiety about death than do nonrunners (Guyor et al, 1984).
Jogging has proved to be an effective adjunct in the treatment of depression and may be at least as effective as, and considerably cheaper than, conventional drug therapy in cases of mild depression (Berger et al, 1984).
Quality of Life
University students who participated in a 15-week jogging program showed significant increases in their reported quality of life, whereas a control group showed no such change (Morris, 1978).
A number of studies have reported that healthy adults who had exercised regularly for 4 or more years exhibited greater energy, patience, humour, ambition, and optimism and were more amiable, graceful, good-tempered, elated and easygoing than were a group of persons just commencing an exercise-training program.
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