Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Feel Good
Up until recently, the conventional wisdom was that exercise was good for you, but did not necessarily reduce stress levels. Now, supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, a research team based at Princeton University found that physical activity really does reduce the body’s response to stress.
What happens is that exercise “reorganizes” the brain, so that its response to stress is reduced, and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function. Specifically, the study showed that exercise produced a large increase in the number of new neurons in the hippocampus, the brain region shown to regulate anxiety.
1. Exercise pumps up endorphins. Physical activity helps increase the production of the brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters, called endorphins.
2. Exercise is meditation in motion. After exercising, most of us have forgotten the day’s irritations by concentrating only on the body’s movements. Often people discover that regular exercise helps people remain calm and clear in everything that they do.
3. Exercise generally improves mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with anxiety. Many people find they sleep better when they have exercised.