You know exercise is good for you.
But did you know that exercise can offer protection from emotional stress?
A new study from the University of Maryland found that exercise may play an important role in helping people to better endure stress.
Moderate exercise may help people cope with anxiety and stress for an extended period of time post-workout, according to research from the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
“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.” explains J. Carson Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology.
Smith compared how moderate intensity cycling versus a period of quiet rest (both for 30 minutes) affected anxiety levels in a group of healthy college students.
He found that exercise and quiet rest were equally effective at reducing anxiety levels initially. However, once they were emotionally stimulated the anxiety levels of those who had simply rested went back up to their initial levels, whereas those who had exercised maintained their reduced anxiety levels.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2012 Aug 14. “Effects of Emotional Exposure on State Anxiety after Acute Exercise.” Smith JC. Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, 2351 SPH Building, College Park, MD