How Exercise Can Reduce Stress & Anxiety

By , SparkPeople Blogger

When I find my mood is going downhill, I usually take an exercise break to try and lift it back up. The mood boost that we get is just one of the many benefits we experience from exercising. Not only do I know that I burned some calories, improved my overall health, but I feel a lot better in general and come back with a much more positive outlook on things for quite some time afterward.

In a recent study, it was found that the mood boosting effect that we experience may help with coping and reducing anxiety and stress for an extended period of time after exercise. In this study, people either exercised or quietly rested and then were shown emotionally stimulating photos. While the group of people that simply rested quietly did experience reduced anxiety levels, their anxiety levels increased after seeing the emotionally stimulating photos and the group of people that exercised and viewed the photos continued to maintain reduced anxiety levels. This is quite an interesting study, especially for those that tend to have high anxiety levels and/or are highly stressed may be able to combat some of their symptoms by exercising. Perhaps these findings may help those that are dealing with depression too.

Of course this is just one study, but it may lead us into a direction for more studies to be done to help many people cope better with their daily anxieties and stressors with something as simple as exercise. For some people that take medication for their anxiety, stress, depression, etc., they may find a lot more benefits with exercise than they realize (and it costs less too). That's a win-win situation, if you ask me!


Related Links:

Bust Your Bad Mood with Exercise

Using Exercise to Relieve Depression

A Guide to Walking Meditation

Recognizing the Signs of Depression


Do you think exercise helps with anxiety and stress? What benefits have you experienced from exercising?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


CECELW 5/25/2021
hello Report
ON_A_DIET 1/6/2021
Stress, anxiety and fear cause the over-production of cortisol. a stress hormone that goes straight to the belly, causing the most dangerous fat, belly fat.

Have you ever accomplished an article on the over-production of cortisol before? Report
MJ7DM33 1/6/2021
Thanks Report
OLDSKOOL556 1/6/2021
Thanks for sharing article Report
Nice article Report
NASFKAB 1/6/2021
Yes Report
RAPUNZEL53 1/4/2021
Great Report
USMAWIFE 12/22/2020
thank you Report
Truly believe this Report
CHERYLHURT 10/10/2020
Great Report
USMAWIFE 9/13/2020
thank you Report
ATHENA2010 8/14/2020
I used to leave the house for a walk when I was upset, and not turn around to go home until I was feeling better. Those were good times! I hope I can get back to being able to walk like that again! Report
CD9166467 8/10/2020
exercise definitely boosts my mood. Report
CD4114015 7/27/2020
Great Report
JIACOLO 7/27/2020
I can see a difference in myself after I exercise Report
I know exercise can make a big difference in how I feel. Report
I used to be able to just take off out of the house and walk until I felt better (less angry, sad, etc.) then I would turn around and head him. I miss being able to walk like that and hope to get back to that one day. Now I exercise from a chair or bed..anything to keep myself in motion! Report
This article is brilliant and dead on! Report
thank you Report
Exercise helps me physically, emotionally, and mentally... more so than any pill prescribed for my various disorders! Report
thanks Report
I found that exercise did help my general anxiety. Report
Good. Report
If you have an anxiety disorder or suffer from major depression, I'm sorry.. this is crap. I have both and used to go to the gym for over an hour a day. Didn't help. You cannot exercise away a chemical imbalance. Tired of these articles Report
thank you Report
Thank you. Report
Exercise helps me to deal with stress! Report
for sure exercise is a great way to burn off anger, frustration, etc. Report
Good advice thanks Report
Thanks! Report
Thank you Report
Exercise helps for about 20 minutes. Report
Great article! Report
It's so much more than losing weight, this is a life style change,. SparkFriends. Report
I used to joke that I couldn't even talk to my daughter's nurses in the morning until after I ran... although I was joking, I do feel better able to deal with people if I run in the morning! Report
Exercise at times cam leabe me extra stressed out. Just depends on the stressor. Report
As someone with a variety pack of anxiety disorders I find exercise to be invaluable in helping to alleviate the worst discomfort. It is not a cure allbut Report
I work out my problems while I exercise Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
I am very good about exerciting but i still have problems with anxiety sometimes Report
Exercise is definitely a form of stress release for me. If I am well rested before I head to the gym, then the endorphins last for hours. If I am sleep deprived, it helps momentarily. There is something to the theory that you must have adequate rest. Report
Exercise never fails to be a stress reliever for me. Report
I used to be an angry person, and I found exercising helped me to NOT be. I wear off that negative emotion "TO DO SOMETHING NOW!" and get it ALL out then I am my normal sweet self. Report
Yes, less stress! Report
sometimes exercise puts my body in stress mode. Report
As far as stress goes - I have created a stress free life. Not bad, if you can do it. But... exercise has never lifted my mood as well as a bag of M&Ms could (or a nice snifter of brandy). Sorry, but such is life ha ha. Exercise is a necessary evil, so I do it. :) Report
I do take medication but it does help a lot to do exercise and hopefully one day it can be reduced and I can be off it. Report
My exercise was helping greatly with my mood, but it seems to have stopped working. Or maybe, I just cycling down. I don't know but it's back to the shrink. Report