Exercise May Protect Against Emotional Stress, According to Study

In exercise, heart health, lifestyle, stress, Uncategorized, wellness on September 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Here’s just more proof of the importance of exercise:  On the heels of a news report stating that people who experience intense workplace stress are at greater risk for heart attack, came another report of a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health suggesting that even moderate exercise can help people cope with the day-to-day anxieties of today’s world.

First, every participant’s stress levels were measured. Then all participants were split up into two groups:  Those who experienced quiet rest for 30 minutes and those who exercised at a moderately intensive pace, like cycling.

They were all shown a series of photographs, ranging from pictures of families, babies and puppies to pictures of appetizing foods and then escalating to violent and gruesome images.

All participants were reassessed, and the researchers compared the effects of 30-minute periods of quiet rest and with those who exercised at moderate-intensity.

Those who exercised showed a lower level of anxiety.

The following statement appeared on the school’s website:

“While it is well-known that exercise improves mood, among other benefits, not as much is known about whether these positive effects endure when we’re faced with everyday stressors once we leave the gym,” explains Dr. J. Carson Smith, the study author and an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. “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.”

Want to know more benefits of exercise?  Please read my previous post here.


Weight isn’t the only indicator of overall health and fitness. Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a certified health and nutrition coach who helps people get off the diet roller coaster and live a lifetime of health, vitality, passion and overall physical and emotional wellbeing.  Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:  While there, be sure to sign up for her free, twice monthly newsletter, Power Wellness,” full of information on healthy eating and lifestyle.

Also the wellness expert for the 4-legged, she writes a popular pet health blog:


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