- OXFORD LIBRARY OF PSYCHOLOGY
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editor
- Exercise Psychology: Understanding the Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity and the Public Health Challenges of Inactivity
- Physical Activity Epidemiology
- The Ultimate Tranquilizer? Exercise and Its Influence on Anxiety
- Body Image and Exercise
- Physical Activity and Cognitive Function: Theoretical Bases, Mechanisms, and Moderators
- Exercise and Health-Related Quality of Life
- Physical Activity as a “Stellar” Positive Psychology Intervention
- Psychoneuroendocrinology and Physical Activity
- Muscle Pain During and Following Exercise
- Cardiovascular Health Implications of Combined Mental and Physical Challenge
- Personality and Physical Activity
- Psychosocial Influence
- Theoretical Approaches to Exercise Promotion
- Theoretical Approaches to Physical Activity Intervention
- Social Cognitive Models
- Exercise Is a Many-Splendored Thing, but for Some It Does Not Feel So Splendid: Staging a Resurgence of Hedonistic Ideas in the Quest to Understand Exercise Behavior
- Exercise Psychology and Physical Disability
- Physical Activity and Exercise in Older Adults
- Children's Motivation for Involvement in Physical Activity
- Exercise Psychology and Children's Intelligence
- Cancer Patients
- Psychology of Resistance Exercise
- Tai Chi as an Alternative Mode of Exercise Activity for Older Adults
Abstract and Keywords
Psychoneuroendocrinology is the clinical study of hormone fluctuations and their relationship to human behavior. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is central to this area of study. Salivary cortisol is considered to be a reliable indicator of HPA function and can be used as a biomarker of physical and mental stress. Several aspects of psychoneuroendocrinology are relevant to physical activity and exercise. First, regular physical activity can both result in physiological adaptations to the HPA axis that might have implications for health and modify HPA and immune responses to mental stress. Second, cortisol appears to be important in preparing for mental and physical demands and may have an impact on sports performance. Overtraining in athletes provides a model for examining neuroendocrine function and chronic stress.
Mark Hamer, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London.
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