According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health , that was published in the journal of Medicine and Science, moderate exercise could help people to cope with stress and anxiety, and that it could work over an extended period of time.
According to J. Carson Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, exercise helps to create a barrier from the effects of emotional exposure. When you exercise, you will be able reduce your current anxiety, and maintain a lower level of anxiety whenever you are confronted with an event that’s emotional.
The study looked at how exercise affected brain function, mental health, and aging. It also compared how moderate intensity compared to rest periods, both a 30 minute duration, and how they affected anxiety levels. Smith found that they were equally effective in reducing anxiety.
“The set of photographic stimuli we used from the IAPS database was designed to simulate the range of emotional events you might experience in daily life,” Smith explains. “They represent pleasant emotional events, neutral events and unpleasant events or stimuli. These vary from pictures of babies, families, puppies and appetizing food items, to very neutral things like plates, cups, furniture and city landscapes, to very unpleasant images of violence, mutilations and other gruesome things.”
What’s this mean to most of us? Well it seems that exercise can more than just make us physically fit. Just 30 minutes a day will help us lose weight, develop lean muscle mass, and keep us emotionally healthy. So it seems we have yet another reason to get moving.
 University of Maryland (2012, September 13). Exercise may protect against future emotional stress, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved