The role of physical illness as a factor of mental illness and the positive effects of exercise on psychological functioning are examined A study of six persons who participated in a fitness program as an adjunct to an existing psychoeducational program is discussed. Methodology, description of the students, results, and personal responses to the fitness program are described. outcomes include a slight decrease in body fat and an increase in cardiovascular fitness as measured by oxygen intake. Although a formal measure of self esteem did not show changes over the course of the study, students report positive attitude changes. An exercise compliance rate of 81% and improved fitness indicate that persons with severe psychiatric disabilities will participate in and can benefit from an exercise program.



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