By Ken Reed
Dr. Monnica T. Williams, a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa, wrote an important article about the value of exercise on mental health for Psychology Today last month. In the article, she outlined why exercise can be as positive for mental health as it is for physical health.
“Most people do not realize that aerobic exercise is good not just for your body but for your psyche as well,” wrote Williams.
“Although most consider psychotherapy or medications to be the frontline approach for psychological disorders, exercise remains underappreciated as a free and fun remedy for numerous mental health concerns.”
Wiliams points out several studies that reveal how regular exercise reduces the symptoms of OCD, depression, PTSD, ADHD, and other mental health challenges.
“In light of these findings, public schools should think twice about eliminating PE and shrinking recess time for students,” wrote Williams.
Williams believes sports participation can be even better than exercising on your own because the people connection in sports is also beneficial for mental health.
As Williams points out:
“Research shows that participating in sports helps people develop better social skills, improves self-esteem, fosters self-confidence, improves self-control, and leads to greater competence. Further, people who engage in sports have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.” (Hiremath, 2019)
While she pushes for increased sports participation — especially for young people — she does caution against sports that involve regular blows to the head, due to the increased risk of brain injuries that can result in several persistent mental health issues, including post-concussive syndrome.
Bottom line, Williams’ message to all of us is get up and move! She’s confident we’ll feel better physically and mentally.
[Hiremath, C. (2019). Impact of sports on mental health. International Journal of Physiology, Nutrition and Physical Education]
—Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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