Exercise is a huge factor in mental and physical health. Our body requires exercise to move everything through all the miles of plumbing. Exercise stimulates us to breathe fully, to stretch and contract muscles, to compress bones, stimulating bone growth, and to raise our heart rate. The internal organs, invisible to our eye, rub against each other during exercise and deep breathing, massaging each other, breaking up stagnant connective tissue, and 'communicating'. Chinese medicine places a high priority on the organs 'communicating' with each other. Just like in a family, when everyone is communicating well, there is harmony. When someone stops communicating, the system begins to break down. Because in Chinese medicine each organ has a 'spirit' or consciousness associated with it, our mental and emotional health is also influenced by the health of our organs. Just as chemical changes associated with stress have recently been identified by western science, i believe that specific chemical changes corresponding to extreme emotions will be identified as having negative effects on specific organs.
Chinese medicine says fear & fright injures the kidneys, anger damages the liver, worry the spleen/pancreas, grief and sadness injures the lungs, and excess joy disrupts the heart.
Proper exercise helps balance all the organs. If a specific organ is out of balance, I prescribe the precise qi gong exercise to bring it to balance. Also it is important to evaluate what kind of exercise will benefit you most: not everyone tolerates running or basketball.