…..Although physical benefits from the exercise were mild (probably because of the limited duration of the trial) teens reported improvements in perceived scholastic competence, social competence, and several markers of body image including appearance esteem and weight esteem.
According to Goldfield, exercise induced improvements in body image, perceived social and academic functioning are psychologically empowering and may help buffer against some of the weight-based teasing and discrimination and bias that’s often inflicted on obese kids, which can have devastating effects on their emotional well-being.
“We’re talking about psychological benefits derived from improved fitness resulting from modest amount of aerobic exercise– not a change in weight or body fat,” Goldfield said.
“If you can improve your physical activity and fitness even minimally, it can help improve your mental health. By teaching kids to focus on healthy active lifestyle behaviors, they are focusing on something they can control.”
by Rick Nauert, PhD