Conquering Depression and Anxiety Through Exercise

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Prometheus Books - Self-Help
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One out of every two Americans will suffer from some mental problems during their lifetimes, the most typical afflictions being depression and anxiety. How do most of us cope? Usually, we turn to overeating, drinking, and smoking. As a result, two out of every three Americans are overweight or obese, and fifty percent of annual deaths in this country can be defined as optional-the result of diseases that could have been avoided had we lived differently. In short, we treat our unhealthy mental reactions to the American lifestyle with even unhealthier physical habits.Psychologist Keith Johnsgard-an inveterate jogger who is in his 70's!-proposes a better solution in this uplifting book, a concept he dubs the sneaker solution. Why not turn to exercise-one of the healthiest aspects of American lifestyle-as a means of improving not just our physical well-being but our state of mind as well? Though usually associated with losing weight and physical fitness, exercise does in fact offer many mental health benefits. Johnsgard inspires us to put on a pair of sneakers and start moving. He draws from a lifetime of research in sports psychology and scientific studies to make a convincing case that exercise can greatly enhance our mental outlook. Further, the positive mental effects of physical activity can be as effective as psychotherapy or drug treatment, and make you look better, to boot! Exercise not only elevates mood, but improves self-esteem and energy levels and tends to lessen substance abuse and anxiety.Johnsgard-who's served as an expert commentator for the CBS Winter Olympics-also offers keen insights into how to get yourself motivated to do exercise, how to work exercise into your regular routine, and how to best use weight-loss and fat-reducing techniques. He explains in clear language the basics of exercise physiology and its effect on both your mind and your body, ushering in the results of studies that he and others have conducted.If depression and anxiety have overshadowed your life, or you just want to improve your mental outlook while enhancing your physical fitness, this book is a superb motivator to help you help yourself through the healthiest, least expensive, and simplest method available.Keith Johnsgard, Ph.D. (Los Gatos, CA), is emeritus professor of psychology at San Jose State University, the author of the The Exercise Prescription for Depression and Anxiety, a frequent contributor to Runner's World and Running Times, and an expert commentator, who has appeared on the CBS Winter Olympics (1994), Dateline NBC, the Lifetime Channel, the Learning Channel, A & E, and the BBC.
 

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Contents

Foreword
17
Sam and the Coyote
23
HunterGatherers Lost in Cyberspace
33
Parttime Contemporary Primitives
51
Some Basic Concepts
73
Moods and SelfEsteem
85
Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders
109
Depression and Mood Disorders
141
An Exercise Formula for Weight Loss
219
The Risks
237
How Can I Make Myself Do It?
249
Doing It
257
A Bridge over Troubled Waters
269
Notes
275
Index
293
Copyright

The Wellness Umbrella
189

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About the author

Johnsgard, Ph.D. (Los Gatos, CA), is emeritus professor of psychology at San Jose State University, the author of the The Exercise Prescription for Depression and Anxiety, a frequent contributor to Runner's World and Running Times, and an expert commentator, who has appeared on the CBS Winter Olympics (1994), Dateline NBC, the Lifetime Channel, the Learning Channel, A & E, and the BBC.

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