Exercise plays an essential role in improving the quality of life, influencing psychological and physical health, yet so many people do not regularly engage in it. Exercise refers to a process of planning and undertaking an activity that involves muscle activity at various intensities, and can be performed in a group or individual setting. Many of us exercise to achieve a specific goal, whether it is to become stronger, injury free or to just feel better overall. Ultimately, whether you exercise or not, will impact on your quality of life.
So how do you assess your current quality of life? Overall quality of life is often determined by how you perceive your position in life in relation to your personal goals. More broadly speaking it may relate to how that position is perceived within the wider standards and expectations of your culture, your families value systems and the bar you set for yourself personally (Pargman & Weinberg, 2007)
It is well known that engaging in exercise has a number of positive effects, specifically key areas in relation to quality of life such as reducing stress levels, enabling individuals to reach their peak physical well-being, encouraging a gradual increase in workout enjoyment, delaying ageing, creating meaningful experiences, decreasing negative emotions, as well as boosting mood and self-discipline.
As you can imagine, ticking all these boxes means that your quality of life becomes greater through increasing the psychological benefits of exercise, as illustrated below.
Psychological benefits of exercise
|Exercise increases:||Exercise decreases:|
Internal locus of control
Positive body image
|Absenteeism at work|
Type A behaviour
(Weinberg & Gould, 2007, p.403)
Want to make sure you’re maximising the psychological benefits of exercise? Be sure you take the following factors into consideration:
Types of exercise and activity:
- Aerobic conditioning or abdominal, rhythmical breathing
- Absence of interpersonal competition
- Closed or predicted activity.
Practice and training factors:
- Frequency (3 times per week)
- Intensity (moderate)
- Duration (20-30 mins).
- Exercise leader (coach)
This is not to say you should go hard and fast all at once. It’s important to keep in mind that overdoing at the gym can actually have the opposite effect on your quality of life. Workout burnout can lead to injury and tiredness which can ultimately affect mood.
Professional guidance and programming is a vital part of using exercise to positively influence your quality of life, whether you’re just beginning training, recovering from an injury or just want to get a better idea of how you can train your body. Come in and see us at Absolute Health & Performance in Melbourne’s CBD for a personally tailored and holistic approach to your training.
Written by Michael Velianis | Performance Coach at Absolute Health & Performance
- G., Pargman, D., & Weinberg, R.S. (2007). Foundations of Exercise & Psychology. Champaign: Ill: Human Kinetics
- Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2007). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology (4th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.