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Aerobic Walking Exercise and Lifestyle Habits Interact with Sleep Quality, Stress, and Life Satisfaction: Results from a Randomized Crossover Study

Feifei Wang & Szilvia Boros

ajhe cover May June 2021

Epidemiological studies showed that exercise is helpful in promoting sleep. With the increase of sleep disorders, several research paradigms have been used to examine the effect of exercise on sleep. Exercise is widely believed to impact sleep quality due to the traditional hypotheses that sleep promotes energy conservation, thermoregulatory functions, or body restoration. Sleep physiology underlines the mechanism(s) between sleep and exercise. Exercise intensity may also play a role in the efficacy of exercise-associated sleep promotion. Furthermore, regular physical activity (PA) is reported to enhance sleep quality.

Physical exercise has been found to generate intermediate effects between well-being and stress. As suggested, exercise can be beneficial to general well-being and is necessary to determine appropriate exercise volume and intensity. Evidence demonstrates that regular exercise can relieve stress because exercise protects against the negative emotional consequences of stress. Furthermore, specific types and dosages of exercise are reported to be associated with mood benefits, self-esteem, and stress activity. Given this evidence, there is promise related to using exercise as a stress-management tool.

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