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Exercise Boosts Mental Well-Being

Posted Oct 22 2012 10:08pm

It is generally accepted that adolescents who engage in more physical activity generally experience fewer mental health problems.  Karin Monshouwer, from the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (The Netherlands), and colleagues investigated the psychological mechanisms underlying this Association.  The researchers surveyed over 7000 Dutch students, ages 11 to 16 years, who were surveyed for physical activity, mental health issues, bodyweight perception, and participation in organized sports. The team found that adolescents who were physically inactive or who perceived their bodies as either perceived their bodies as either "too fat" or "too thin" were at greater risk for both internalizing problems (such as depression and anxiety) and externalizing problems (such as aggression and substance abuse). Adolescents who participated in organized sports were at lower risk for mental health problems.  The study authors write that: "This study found some support for the self-image and social interaction hypotheses and thereby confirms the importance of the psychological and sociological aspects of physical activity.”

Karin Monshouwer, Margreet ten Have, Mireille van Poppel, Han Kemper, Wilma Vollebergh. “Possible Mechanisms Explaining the Association Between Physical Activity and Mental Health: Findings From the 2001 Dutch Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey.”  Clinical Psychological Science, September 7, 2012.

  
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In a single year, an estimated 1.5 billion people travel by commercial airplane. So, it's not too difficult to imagine how easy it could be to become sick while in an airport or aboard an aircraft. To keep the skies friendly to your health, consider following these ten travel-savvy tips:
1. Wear loose clothing. If you feel bloated after disembarking from a plane, it’s because the low air pressure (8000 feet [2,438 meters] inside the jet cabin) makes our bodies swell up.
2. Keep your fluids up. While in flight, drink 8 ounces (236 ml) of water during every hour. Cabin air is notoriously dry (0 to 2% humidity). Be sure to take the flight attendants up on their offers of bottled water during your flight. Avoid tap water on airplanes. It is treated with mild detergents, and no regulatory standards are in effect for commercial aircraft water tanks
 
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