By Ken Reed
Mental health concerns have garnered a growing amount of media attention the last couple years.
Similarly, exercise, as a treatment for mental health woes like anxiety and depression, has also received increased attention.
Exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, might be the single best thing you can do for your mental health, not to mention your physical health.
A study that examined the public health data of 1 million Americans found that people who exercised regularly had 43% fewer days of poor mental health in a given month than individuals who did not exercise.
“[Exercise] feels good, it improves self-image, and it produces numerous effects in body and brain that could be antidepressant,” says Dr. John Krystal, MD, one of that study’s authors and a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Yale University.
The good news for sports enthusiasts is that getting exercise via team sports like soccer, tennis, volleyball, basketball, softball, etc., had the most positive impact on mental health.
“Reinforcing social bonds, getting people to focus on objectives that are beyond themselves, and providing opportunities to win” are aspects of team sports that may provide mental health advantages over and above those of mere physical activity, according to Krystal.
As we’ve written in the past at League of Fans, there is strong evidence that regular exercise is a great medicine for mental health. Moreover, studies show it also has tremendous physical health benefits and it increases academic performance for students.
“The bottom line, is that exercise triggers parallel biological, psychological, and social processes that feed on each other and help people to better manage stress and recover from depression,” says Krystal.
“In a world where people seem to agree on few things, almost everyone agrees that engaging in regular exercise is good for you.”
Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
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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.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
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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