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Physical activity, anxiety and anxiety disorders

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The purpose of this paper is to present a selective overview of recent research concerning physical activity, anxiety disorders. Introductory information about anxiety and anxiety disorders is presented in the first section. Background information about neurobiology has been emphasized in the first section because of the recent growth in knowledge about neurobiology of anxiety, its potential heuristic value for learning about the extent to which physical activity influences anxiety, and the fact that psychobiology contructs such as anxiety ultimately reflect functioning of the brain. The second section reviews and attempts to integrate into the extant literature selected, recently published investigations concerning the influence of physical activity on anxiety and anxiety disorders. Major conclusions include: (1) that most of the research concerning physical activity and clinical anxiety disordres has involved patients with panic disorder; accordingly, it is recommended that future studies be conducted examining the effects of exercise training on other anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, (2) that not all panic disorder patients phobically avoid physical activity; however, methodological weakness of this work lead to the recommendation that large scale studies with better methods be conducted to provide a conclusive answer as to whether individuals with panic disorder are more sedentary than normal, (3) that acute and chronic exercise is safe for panic disorder patients, (4) that exercise training is associated with a reduction of anxiety symptoms in patients with panic disorder, and (5) that when groups without a clinical anxiety disorder perform an acute exercise bout, post-exercise anxiety reductions are larger than usual if methods are used to minimize the problem of low pre-exercise anxiety scores.
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... The anxiolytic effect of physical activity was thoroughly investigated over the years. Depression, as well as anxiety disorders, can be treated by using physical activity and exercise [8]. Improved emotional well-being and decreased risk of developing mood disorders were shown to be related to regular physical activity [9]. ...
... Exercising during PA classes has helped students forget about daily stressors and has enabled them to fulfil academic requirements [21]. After four years of performing physical activity on a regular basis, a sample of 2,548 adolescents and young adults had considerably lower incidence of mental disorders [22], [8]. In trained individuals (elite and amateur sportsmen), the autonomic nervous system was shown to have reduced reactivity to psychosocial stress. ...
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... While there may be a range of social and genetic determinants of mental health disorders (Cross-Disorder Group 2013;WHO 2014), being physically active may have positive benefits and help improve the health of young people and adults with severe and enduring mental health conditions (Ströhle 2009). Based on secondary analysis of available data, physical activity has been shown to be potentially as e ective as many drug interventions (e.g. ...
... Al respecto, las revisiones sistemáticas han demostrado que la actividad física está asociada con una mayor salud mental y un menor riesgo de mala salud mental, específicamente depresión y ansiedad 5 . Otros estudios transversales han asociado sistemáticamente los altos niveles de actividad física habitual auto-informados con una mejor salud mental y han descrito una correlación entre el nivel de ejercicio habitual y la depresión leve (pero no la ansiedad) en adolescentes y personas mayores 6 . Asimismo, algunos autores hacen referencia a tres grandes estudios transversales, los cuales establecen que la actividad física es una estrategia que se recomienda a menudo para personas con enfermedades mentales, puesto que existe una fuerte relación entre la participación en actividades físicas con la salud mental 7 . ...
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Tesis doctoral Universidad de Ciencias de la Cultura Física Manuel Fajardo, La Habana
Thesis
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