By Ken Reed

Through the years, we’ve used this blog to regularly tout all the things physical exercise is good for.

Exercise, especially cardiovascular-based exercise, has tremendous physical, mental and emotional benefits. The list of research-based benefits from exercise, sports and other forms of physical activity is a long one.

For one thing, exercise grows brain cells. The list of benefits also includes better cardiorespiratory health, stronger bones and muscles, lower blood pressure, less risk of Type 2 diabetes, weight reduction, reduced anxiety and depression, and improved cognitive functioning. In addition, research has shown that physically active K-12 students generally have better grades, enhanced memory capabilities, lower rates of absenteeism, and better classroom behavior.

Exercise is also a key component of a comprehensive wellness program targeting military veterans with PTSD and those with suicidal inclinations. The Grey Team, a non-profit organization based in Boca Raton, Florida, has a mission of healing veterans with PTSD and preventing PTSD-related veteran suicides.

Statistics reveal that suicide rates for returning vets continue to rise. The data shows that it is now six times more dangerous for an American soldier to return home from war than it is for him/her to actively be engaged in combat with our country’s enemies.

“Exercise is a common feature of many therapies and treatments that have demonstrated efficacy for PTSD, depression and suicide risk,” says Ohio State University psychologist Craig Bryan, a former executive director of the National Center for Veterans Studies.

The human body is made to move and when it does it feels better — physically and mentally.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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