Exercise v. Depression and Anxiety

A Boston University meta-analysis (a study of studies) confirms what you may have already suspected if you’ve ever jogged around the block or done a few sit-ups when anxious, depressed, stressed, or angry–exercise is good for your mental health.

“Individuals who exercise report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, and lower levels of stress and anger,” Smits says. “Exercise appears to affect, like an antidepressant, particular neurotransmitter systems in the brain, and it helps patients with depression re-establish positive behaviors. For patients with anxiety disorders, exercise reduces their fears of fear and related bodily sensations such as a racing heart and rapid breathing.”