Physical Exercise and its Impact on Psychology | Abstract

Clinical and Experimental Psychology


Physical Exercise and its Impact on Psychology

Trevor Archer

The multi-dimensional impact of physical exercise upon psychology and behavioural science is linked to the manifest healthbeneficial expressions of physical exercise over individuals’ life-cycles, whether normal or in ill-health, may be encapsulated within several domains of welfare: (i) exercise and academic and other cognitive performances, (ii) exercise and the developmental trajectory, (iii) exercise for the alleviation of affective disorders, and (iv) the epigenetic manifestations of physical exercise. Surprisingly, the effects of exercise may be determined relatively quickly: just eight weeks of pre-season training on body composition, physical fitness, anaerobic capacity, and isokinetic strength in collegiate taekwondo athletes in endurance gave improvements on all these parameters, as assessed by relative peak power and anaerobic capacity and angular velocity [1]. Psychological well-being, cognitive, emotional, motor, behavioral, clinical, recuperative, epigenetic and health domains all make considerable impact upon individuals’ propensity for and compliance with regular exercise and physical activity and vice versa throughout the lifespan development [2-16]. Accordingly, physical exercise is viewed as a “scaffolding” construct that buttresses against illness and damage incurred under conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, clinical depression, developmental disorders or neurodegenerative diseases and aging, by shaping conditions for construction, damage control and reconstruction. It furnishes ongoing processes that are maintained across the lifespan through the applications and development of complementary, alternative biomarkers and neural networks for the attainment of selected functions and performances [17,18]. For example, [19], using data from the ageing population of the “Betula” study (Umeå, Sweden) have shown that (i) higher levels of physical activity score were related to greater connectivity in the posterior default-mode network, (ii) higher levels of physical activity score were related to larger gray matter volume of the posterior cingulate cortex, and (iii) higher levels of physical activity score were related to higher perfusion rate within the posterior cingulate cortex.