Moderate exercise helps people deal with emotional stress for a period of time after exercising, according to a recent study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. This study takes what we know about the positive mood effects of exercise even further. Not only does exercise make you feel good, but it even helps you allay anxiety when faced with emotional stress after exercising.
“While it is well known that exercise improves mood, among other benefits, not as much is known about the potency of exercise’s impact on emotional state and whether these positive effects endure when we’re faced with everyday stressors once we leave the gym,” stated the author. “We found that exercise helps to buffer the effects of emotional exposure. If you exercise, you’ll not only reduce your anxiety, but you’ll be better able to maintain that reduced anxiety when confronted with emotional events.”
If you needed another reason to exercise each morning—or even each evening—this is it. In today’s world, emotional stress is almost impossible to avoid. If 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can help you respond better to emotional stress, it’s worth it. Cycling was the exercise used in this study, but 30 minutes of the aerobic exercise of your choice will likely provide similar effects. Perhaps tomorrow morning you’ll set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual?