Physical Exercise for mental health

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By YEI HTUT TIN
Almost every human being living in the twenty-first century accept that physical exercise is beneficial to health.
Because, nowadays “Total Fitness is defined as the optimal functional state, that can react efficiently to the demands made upon the human mechanical body”.
But currently, people come to realize that physical fitness alone cannot fulfill the take to achieve total fitness.
Moreover, researchers from the field of fitness, have generally assumed that physical fitness and mental health were related, although no hard evidence can be found to support the relationship in early 1970’s. Later, emotional stress became one of the major factors in the atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) disease and some anecdotal evidence revealed that cases of angina pectoris (severe chest pain), voodoo death resulting from severe emotional strain. Since then, scientists had carried out extensive researches and revealed the ways to cope with stress, such as the tranquilizer effect of exercise and stress-reducing effect of non-cultural meditation. But there had been any scientific studies in the field of stress physiology which might bridge the gap between cognitive and somatic intervention strategies till late 1970’s.
Nearly 30 years ago, exercise treatment became more evident as it is the potent method of reducing psychological and physiological response to the acute emotional of stressor. Few scientific experiments support for the hypothesis that aerobic exercise are the effective ways to cope with psychological stress. Researchers found out that physical activity is associated with anxiety tolerance. Carefully supervised exercise therapy and relaxation training have been used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and also the reduction in anxiety.
Many therapists feel that, meditation and progressive relaxation are long-term effectiveness in coping with stress, although it may varies greatly, depending on the responses of the individuals. Because of their differences in beliefs, expectations, preferred coping style, individuals probably differ greatly in profiting psychological values from fitness training.
Nowadays, people are more, likely to accept in general as highly active persons show much less response to stress than inactive ones because of the exertion burns up energy, which might either wise go into needless anxiety and new findings also stated that physical exercise is one of the ways to relieve and attenuate the stress.
Some studies revealed that mostly aerobic type chronic exercises seem beneficial to those who experience anxiety at the somatic level whereas; meditation will cope much better to those who are over-burdened by cognitive anxiety.
Considerable portion of 2000 high school athletes subjects tested in America had high blood pressure. That alarming results indicated that regular physical activities among school children are needed for the prevention of heart and lungs diseases and also lessening mental disorders.
Consequently, the following fitness and health assessment methodologies performed on youth showed that American children were less fit than most of the European and even to those of South African and Japanese counterparts of the twentieth century.
As a matter of fact, the majority of children currently schooling in Myanmar are becoming less healthier compare to the students of a few decades ago. One of the main reasons for that is physical education and health related exercise programmes are little or nothing in school educational curriculum.
It’s been sometime that not only the lengthy school periods are tormenting the students but also the homework which usually keeps them fully occupied for many hours after. Because of that nothing is left for the school children to enjoy leisure time relaxation activities and exercises which would elevate their fitness level and also can enhance their intellectual prowess considerably.
For that matter, Myanmar needs competent people in the field of health and fitness who could able to give proper, sound and precise exercise prescriptions to the people of all ages individually for them to achieve optimal physiological and psychological benefits.
At the present time, most of the citizens of Myanmar exercising in their local fitness centres under the guidance of uncertified instructors are more to be pitied, as many of them are negaged in strength related exercise regimens rather than health related exercises and physical activities of an aerobic nature such as hiking, brisk walking, jogging in the parks or woods, depending on their tastes and moods. These aerobic exercises would free momentary especially the city dwellers, particularly for geriatrics who are adapted to the modern day life style, living in hazardous atmosphere mostly suffering from some kind of hypokinetic diseases.

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