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IHRSA's Health Benefits of Exercise Report

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Parents Who Exercise for Wellbeing More Likely to Keep Exercising

A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health examined the relationship between exercise goals and the source of motivation (internal or external) on long-term exercise habits. Researchers surveyed 296 parents (226 mothers and 70 fathers) of children under 16 and followed them for one year.

The results showed that all exercise goals, except weight loss, were associated with self-determined motivation, while weight loss and appearance goals were linked to external motivation (stemming from outside pressure). Exercising for stress management and revitalization, but not for health or appearance, predicted exercise behavior over the course of a year. This may be because day-to-day wellbeing benefits are more immediately realized than longer term health or appearance benefits. The authors also note these findings, "support recent calls to 'rebrand exercise' as a means to improve daily wellbeing."

Prenatal Exercise Linked to Lower Odds of Prenatal Depression

In a study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers examined the evidence on exercise and its association with anxiety and depression around pregnancy. The review included 52 studies on over 131,000 people.

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