Wholistic wellness and exercise among adolescents

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Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools


A discussion of positive human functioning is not complete without consideration of the synergistic interdependence between the well-being of the body and the well-being of the brain. Although the brain accounts for less than 2% of a person’s weight, it requires 20% of the body’s total oxygen consumption (Drubach, 2000). Regular aerobic activity can increase the capacity of the body to deliver oxygen to the brain and all tissues of the body. A well oxygenated brain contributes to alertness, cognitive endurance/performance, and enhanced mood. A well oxygenated brain also “facilitates” a well oxygenated “rest of the body,” leading to increased levels of vigor and performance. Endorphins released during vigorous exercise contribute to a heightened sense of well-being. An experienced exerciser can make the brain/body feel great while reaping health and fi tness benefi ts. It is a win/win for the active person. Furthermore, physical fi tness and the activities that promote fi tness can make a substantial contribution to the development of the virtues identifi ed by positive psychology.

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