Engaging in regular physical activity may produce improvements in an individual’s physical health, cognitive performance, and psychological well-being. Physical benefits include, but are not limited to, reduced risk for diseases, and improvements in physical functioning, fitness, and overall quality of life. Literature supports a link between exercise and cognitive benefits related to academic performance, brain function, and aging. Psychological benefits incurred from physical activity pertain to improvements in mood and self-esteem, and potential reductions in stress, anxiety, and depression. Strong scientific evidence indicates that adopting a physical activity regimen may positively impact health. However, individuals react differently to exercise and may face unique challenges and barriers when beginning and maintaining an exercise program. One may engage in behavioral modification strategies to enhance physical activity. Useful strategies include: identifying personally perceived barriers to physical activity, increasing self-efficacy, effectively setting goals, planning for setbacks, and self-monitoring progress.
A Guide to Physical Activity by Eydie Kramer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.