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