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Exercise and health

by: Lindsay Bellinger

Exercise and health Psyx 383

Lindsay Bellinger

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Chapter seven of this course covers the relationship between regular exercise and its health benefits, along with the health problems that may occur if a lack of exercise is done. It also covers th...
Health Psychology
Mark Primosch
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lindsay Bellinger on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyx 383 at University of Montana taught by Mark Primosch in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Health Psychology in Psychology at University of Montana.


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Date Created: 10/10/16
Health Psychology Chapter 7 – Exercise, Sleep and Injury Control Physical activity: Bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles requires energy expenditure Physical exercise: Physical activity that is planned, repetitive and purposeful in the sense that it is intended to improve or maintain one or more aspects of physical fitness Aerobic exercise: Light to moderate intensity exercise performed for an extended period of time; swimming, cycling and running Anaerobic exercise: High intensity exercise performed for short periods of time; weight training and sprinting Basal Metabolic Rate: the minimum number of calories the body needs to maintain bodily functions while at rest (how much energy your body uses throughout the day) Calorie: A measure of food energy equivalent to the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water to one degree Celsius Physical fitness: A set of attributes relating to the ability to perform physical activity that include muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and healthy body composition Cardiorespiratory endurance: The ability of the heart, blood vessels, and lungs to supply oxygen to working muscles during physical activity for prolonged periods of time Benefits from physical activity Regular exercise can reduce risk of premature disability and many chronic illnesses, including those related to stress The amount of oxygen that your body uses is referred to as oxygen consumption, or VO2 (volume of oxygen) - As your intensity of exercise increases, VO2 rises until it eventually reaches its max Good physical fitness in both men and women delays mortality and may extend life by two years or more – physical fitness has been shown to be a good predictor of life expectancy and quality of life Improving physical fitness may help prevent age-associated diseases and can reduce the risk of death by 44% Muscular strength: the amount of force that a muscle or group of muscles can exert Muscular endurance: the ability of a muscle or muscle group to repeat a movement Flexibility: the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen Body composition: the amount of fat in the body compared to the amount of lean mass Exercise has been shown to drastically reduce levels of depression and anxiety in individuals – although medication may have a more rapid response, physical exercise is equally as effective Weight Control Obesity has been recognised as one of the main threats to health and well- being. The majority of adults in the united states and Canada are obese or overweight, and excess weight is expected to soon overtake smoking as the leading cause of death. Myth – Exercising one body part (arms, abs) only reduces fat in that area of the body; this is not true, physical activity reduces fat from all areas of the body How much physical activity is needed? - For 18-65 year olds: at least 30 minutes a day five days a week Weight bearing exercises such as walking or jogging help to preserve muscular strength and flexibility, promote healthy body composition and maintain bone density Protection against chronic illness Osteoporosis: A disease of the bones involving a loss of bone mineral density that leads to an increased risk of fracture - More common among post-menopausal women (1 in 4 women) Physical exercise has been demonstrated to protect against a number of chronic conditions, including osteoporosis. Exercise helps to fight heart disease by strengthening the heart, increasing blood flow, keeping blood vessels open, and lowering both blood pressure and the blood pressure reaction to stress. Regular exercise has been linked to lower triglycerides – lower levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and higher levels of HDL (good cholesterol) Regular physical exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer by influencing proinflammatory cytokines which have beneficial effects on the development of growth and tumour cells – physical activity also promotes healthy immune functioning by delaying some age related declines in white blood cells. Metabolic syndrome: A cluster of conditions that include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level, abdominal obesity, low HDL and high triglyceride level that occur together and increase a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes – increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome if little physical exercise is carried out Psychological well-being Regular exercise is associated with improved mood and elevated well-being just after working out – exercise may serve as an effective buffer against anxiety and stress, may boost self-esteem and self-efficacy The psychological benefits of physical activity are particularly pronounced among older adults who perceive high levels of stress Regular exercise also predicts better cognitive functioning and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia – these benefits can be observed in children as young as 7 years old. Aerobic exercise has been shown to promote growth in the brain Is it ever too late to start exercising? It is never too late to start exercising – although, during late adulthood the intensity and types of exercise must be altered in order to not damage the body or exert the body too much - Cardiovascular and respiratory functioning slows down during older adulthood Exercise Interventions Health behaviour theories identify factors that predict physical health activity in the individual. - Socio-cognitive factors: attitudes and intentions towards exercise - Socioeconomic factors: education in understanding health and financial resources Theory of planned behaviour: attitudes towards a given behaviour, along with subjective social norms, and perceived behavioural control shape our behaviour intentions and therefore guide our behaviour Research has found that a simple intervention in which participants were prompted to consider all phases of the workout before starting, increased their expected enjoyment and boosted their intention to exercise in the future The most effective interventions designed to promote increased physical activity in a community integrate individual and environmental factors, including demographic, biological, psychological, social/cultural, and public policy Sleep Circadian rhythm – a biological clock that operates on a 24-hour cycle One in five adults fails to get enough sleep – “sleep deprivation” Bright lights, which activates light-sensitive proteins in the retinas of our eyes is the most important factor in setting our 24-hour biological clock - It signals the brains suprachiasmatic nucleus to decrease its production of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin Age and sleep - During adolescence we are likely to be energized during the evening with cognitive performance improving as the day wears on - After around the age of 20, we begin to shift from being energetic at night to being more energetic in the mornings with our performance declining throughout the day - Evidence has shown that people who are at their best in the morning often do better in school and tend to be less vulnerable to depression Sleep stages - Non rapid eye movement (can be awoken easily) - Rapid eye movement (vivid dreams occur) 1. Non rapid eye movement stage one o Loud sounds can still wake you 2. Non rapid eye movement stage two o Breathing and heart rate even out, and body temperature drops 3. Non rapid eye movement stage three o Brain emits large, slow delta waves – much harder to awaken o Important for restoring energy levels, strengthening the immune system and stimulating the release of growth hormones 4. Back to REM3 -> REM2 -> REM1 o This cycle repeats every 90 minutes Sleep patterns - New-borns sleep 15-17 hours a day because the brain areas that regulate sleep are immature - As the brain develops, hours of sleep decrease rapidly - About 50% of sleep in new-borns is REM sleep with flickering eyes and rapid brain waves - Social jet lag: we sleep less today than 100 years ago - Insufficient sleep has been linked to socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, workplace, neighbourhood and other social factors - Insomnia: A persistent problem in falling or staying asleep Chronic sleep loss: - Promotes increased body weight and increased body mass index - Children and adults who sleep less have a higher percentage of body fat than those who sleep more - Poor sleep stimulates an increase in the hunger-triggering hormone ghrelin and a decrease in the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin - Sleep loss elevates the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol - Sleep deprivation supresses immune functioning - Sleep loss also promotes insulin resistance (increased risk of diabetes) - Sleep loss is related to chronic inflammation and therefore affects out body’s metabolic, neural and endocrine functioning (accelerates aging) - The brain uses sleep to repair damage, therefore lack of sleep means that the brain may not be able to repair damaged areas as effectively Injury Control Unintentional injury: harm that is accidental and not meant to occur Intentional Injury: harm that results from behaviours designed to hurt oneself or others Injury control: systematic efforts to prevent injuries from occurring and to limit the consequences of those that have already occurred Sleep deprivation has been shown to produce cognitive, perceptual and motor impairments equivalent to those caused by alcohol consumption at or above the legal limit The five leading causes of death in young people include several external causes (accidents, homicide and suicide), followed by cancer and heart disease. Adolescence and Emerging adulthood Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults Poor decision making is partly the result of the fact that different parts of the brain grow at different rates - The limbic system, matures before the prefrontal cortex - As a result, the motional areas of the brain develop ahead of the executive, analytic areas During adolescence, brain areas that respond to excitement and pleasure are much more active than brain areas that control inhibition and urge caution Teens are more likely than adults to underestimate dangerous situations or to be able to recognise hazardous situations Poisoning Unintentional poisoning death rates have been increasing steadily since 1992 and have become second to motor-crashes as the cause of accidental death Every day in the US, 87 people die as a result of unintentional poisoning – 90% of which are caused by drugs Homicide The low rate of chronic illness between ages 18-25 is offset by a high rate of severe injuries and violent deaths - Males are twice as vulnerable in comparison to women Violent deaths are more common than disease deaths during these years even in nations with rampant infection and malnutrition Suicide Suicide is most common in people aged 45-54 years Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males, while poisoning is the most common among females Suicidal thoughts appear when individuals feel trapped, disconnected or feel like they’re a burden to others Research shows that self-harm may be an attempt to: - Gain attention and help - Get others to stop bullying them - Use pain to distract negative thoughts - Relieve guilt - Fit in with a peer group


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