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Exercise and Mental Health

  • By: Edward McAuley & Katherine S. Hall
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

The importance of a physically active lifestyle for physical and psychological health is well established. Despite the many known benefits of physical activity, only 45% of adults in the United States meet public health recommendations (i.e., the accumulation of at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 days of the week). In addition, a mere 37% of the older adult population report regular activity. This is a concern because this most rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population, with approximately 35 million adults 65 years and older, is projected to double in the next several decades. As people age, susceptibility to chronic conditions, functional limitations and disability, and comorbidity increase, often resulting in compromised physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and reduced quality of ...

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