4B Newland Science Park

Hull HU6 7TQ

01482 966 006

Foss Building, York St John Campus

York YO31 7EX

01904 390 901

4B Newland Science Park

Hull HU6 7TQ

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There has always been an allusive link between exercising and feeling good. But why? And what does this mean for our bodies?

Exercise is often linked to staying fit, keeping the waistline just right, achieving a goal and/or adding years to your life. However, those that regularly partake inactivity also mention a sense of wellbeing.

In the society we live in today, the numbers of mental health issues are at the highest ever, although could this be because there is just more awareness now and less of a taboo, particularly within the male population? Exercise has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress (Sharma, et al., 2006; Schulz, et al., 2012; Evans, et al., 2017).

Aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, cycling and dancing improve mood, this is suggested to be caused by an increase in blood circulation to the brain, as well as a change on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) (Guszkowska, 2004). The HPA is our central stress response system, being responsible for the neuroendocrine adaption that happens when someone is exposed to a stressor. Within this central nervous system and pituitary gland complex is where the hormone endorphin is produced. This is one of the hormones released during exercise, it alters the perception of pain and creates a positive feeling, it has been likened to the feeling of having morphine. Physically active people are proven to have better reactivity and regeneration when exposed to a stressful situation (Schulz, et al., 2012).

The more subjective reasoning for exercise to have an impact on mood and stress level are distraction and self-efficacy, through improving self-esteem, confidence and cognitive function (Kim, et al., 2017). Exercise interventions have been proven to reduce the delay in cognitive decline in those over 50 years old (Northey, et al., 2018). Northey, et al., 2018, shows a meta-analysis with 36 out of 39 studies statistically proving that physical activity at a moderate intensity for 45-60 minutes improves cognitive function.

Focusing more directly on anxiety, there are several effects related to exercise such as; lower resting heart rate, amount of stress hormones and neuromuscular tension, that also correlate to anxiety. The frequency, intensity and duration of exercise can influence anxiety levels. Working at 30-70% of maximal heart rate will have the most effective reduction of post-exercise anxiety. Although it is unclear on the ‘dosage’ that should be optimally completed to have the best result (Marcos de Souza Moura, et al., 2015). Anxiety UK states that exercise has cofounding effects including, improving sleep, sense of achievement, natural energy boost and a focus. These factors that are influenced by being physically active have a contributing influence on an individual’s state of anxiety.

There is a strong corresponding link between physical and mental well being that cannot be ignored (Evans, et al., 2017). Any type of physical activity is a benefit, whether that’s gardening or running a marathon. We need to reduce the stigma around who should be doing what. Exercise, sport and physical activity have no assigned gender, ethnicity or age and therefore everyone has the right to stay healthy both mentally and physically through it.

5 Ways to Keep Active and Reduce Stress
  • Walking – 15-minute walk is enough to reduce stress and depression by 26%
  • Running – the ‘Couch to 5k’ is a great way to start running if you don’t already, sometimes starting a new activity up and going all out can cause physical stress on your bodies and increase the risk of injury, pick the pace up slowly.
  • Riding a Bike – one of the best forms of aerobic exercise, as well as providing an alternative to running/walking for those suffering from conditions that limit weight-bearing activity.
  • Resistance Training – has been shown to have an effect on reducing depression levels and change structures within the brain due to increased blood flow.
  • Dancing – this is a great form of aerobic exercise; in addition, the music element also contributes to reducing stress and improving mood.

References

Evans, M., Rohan, K. J., Howard, A., Ho, S. Y., Dubbert, P. M., & Stetson, B. A. (2017). Exercise dimensions and psychological well-being: A community-based exercise study. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 11(2), 107-125.

Guszkowska, M. (2004). Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood. Psychiatria polska, 38(4), 611-620.

Kim, J., Lee, S., Chun, S., Han, A., & Heo, J. (2017). The effects of leisure-time physical activity for optimism, life satisfaction, psychological well-being, and positive affect among older adults with loneliness. Annals of Leisure Research, 20(4), 406-415.

Marcos de Souza Moura, A., Khede Lamego, M., Paes, F., Ferreira Rocha, N. B., Simoes-Silva, V., Almeida Rocha, S & Budde, H. (2015). Effects of aerobic exercise on anxiety disorders: a systematic review. CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders), 14(9), 1184-1193.

Northey, J. M., Cherbuin, N., Pumpa, K. L., Smee, D. J., & Rattray, B. (2018). Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med, 52(3), 154-160.

Schulz, K. H., Meyer, A., & Langguth, N. (2012). Exercise and psychological well-being. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz, 55(1), 55-65.

Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for mental health. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 8(2), 106-106.

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There has always been an allusive link between exercising and feeling good. But why? And what does this mean for our bodies?

Exercise is often linked to staying fit, keeping the waistline just right, achieving a goal and/or adding years to your life. However, those that regularly partake inactivity also mention a sense of wellbeing.

In the society we live in today, the numbers of mental health issues are at the highest ever, although could this be because there is just more awareness now and less of a taboo, particularly within the male population? Exercise has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress (Sharma, et al., 2006; Schulz, et al., 2012; Evans, et al., 2017).

Aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, cycling and dancing improve mood, this is suggested to be caused by an increase in blood circulation to the brain, as well as a change on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) (Guszkowska, 2004). The HPA is our central stress response system, being responsible for the neuroendocrine adaption that happens when someone is exposed to a stressor. Within this central nervous system and pituitary gland complex is where the hormone endorphin is produced. This is one of the hormones released during exercise, it alters the perception of pain and creates a positive feeling, it has been likened to the feeling of having morphine. Physically active people are proven to have better reactivity and regeneration when exposed to a stressful situation (Schulz, et al., 2012).

The more subjective reasoning for exercise to have an impact on mood and stress level are distraction and self-efficacy, through improving self-esteem, confidence and cognitive function (Kim, et al., 2017). Exercise interventions have been proven to reduce the delay in cognitive decline in those over 50 years old (Northey, et al., 2018). Northey, et al., 2018, shows a meta-analysis with 36 out of 39 studies statistically proving that physical activity at a moderate intensity for 45-60 minutes improves cognitive function.

Focusing more directly on anxiety, there are several effects related to exercise such as; lower resting heart rate, amount of stress hormones and neuromuscular tension, that also correlate to anxiety. The frequency, intensity and duration of exercise can influence anxiety levels. Working at 30-70% of maximal heart rate will have the most effective reduction of post-exercise anxiety. Although it is unclear on the ‘dosage’ that should be optimally completed to have the best result (Marcos de Souza Moura, et al., 2015). Anxiety UK states that exercise has cofounding effects including, improving sleep, sense of achievement, natural energy boost and a focus. These factors that are influenced by being physically active have a contributing influence on an individual’s state of anxiety.

There is a strong corresponding link between physical and mental well being that cannot be ignored (Evans, et al., 2017). Any type of physical activity is a benefit, whether that’s gardening or running a marathon. We need to reduce the stigma around who should be doing what. Exercise, sport and physical activity have no assigned gender, ethnicity or age and therefore everyone has the right to stay healthy both mentally and physically through it.

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There has always been an allusive link between exercising and feeling good. But why? And what does this mean for our bodies?

Exercise is often linked to staying fit, keeping the waistline just right, achieving a goal and/or adding years to your life. However, those that regularly partake inactivity also mention a sense of wellbeing.

In the society we live in today, the numbers of mental health issues are at the highest ever, although could this be because there is just more awareness now and less of a taboo, particularly within the male population? Exercise has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and stress (Sharma, et al., 2006; Schulz, et al., 2012; Evans, et al., 2017).

Aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, cycling and dancing improve mood, this is suggested to be caused by an increase in blood circulation to the brain, as well as a change on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) (Guszkowska, 2004). The HPA is our central stress response system, being responsible for the neuroendocrine adaption that happens when someone is exposed to a stressor. Within this central nervous system and pituitary gland complex is where the hormone endorphin is produced. This is one of the hormones released during exercise, it alters the perception of pain and creates a positive feeling, it has been likened to the feeling of having morphine. Physically active people are proven to have better reactivity and regeneration when exposed to a stressful situation (Schulz, et al., 2012).

The more subjective reasoning for exercise to have an impact on mood and stress level are distraction and self-efficacy, through improving self-esteem, confidence and cognitive function (Kim, et al., 2017). Exercise interventions have been proven to reduce the delay in cognitive decline in those over 50 years old (Northey, et al., 2018). Northey, et al., 2018, shows a meta-analysis with 36 out of 39 studies statistically proving that physical activity at a moderate intensity for 45-60 minutes improves cognitive function.

Focusing more directly on anxiety, there are several effects related to exercise such as; lower resting heart rate, amount of stress hormones and neuromuscular tension, that also correlate to anxiety. The frequency, intensity and duration of exercise can influence anxiety levels. Working at 30-70% of maximal heart rate will have the most effective reduction of post-exercise anxiety. Although it is unclear on the ‘dosage’ that should be optimally completed to have the best result (Marcos de Souza Moura, et al., 2015). Anxiety UK states that exercise has cofounding effects including, improving sleep, sense of achievement, natural energy boost and a focus. These factors that are influenced by being physically active have a contributing influence on an individual’s state of anxiety.

There is a strong corresponding link between physical and mental well being that cannot be ignored (Evans, et al., 2017). Any type of physical activity is a benefit, whether that’s gardening or running a marathon. We need to reduce the stigma around who should be doing what. Exercise, sport and physical activity have no assigned gender, ethnicity or age and therefore everyone has the right to stay healthy both mentally and physically through it.

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Flex Health Hull
4B Newland Science Park
Inglemire Lane
Hull
HU6 7TQ

01482 966 006

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Roko Gym
Stirling Road
York
YO30 4TU

01904 390 901