Forcing Yourself to Exercise Protects Against Anxiety and Stress

Even if you don’t like to exercise, forcing yourself to do it can have substantial happiness consequences!

by Lyssa Myska Allen, co-founder of DailyHap.com and happy exerciser.

I had a college roommate who, when I came home grouchy, would say, “Just go to the gym. Then we’ll talk.”

She was right on—exercising has always relieved my stress or anxiety. Now, new research shows that being forced to exercise STILL helps reduce anxiety and depression just as exercising voluntarily does. Now, the research from the University of Colorado Boulder was performed on rats, but it did still show that exercise is exercise.

“Regardless of whether the rats chose to run or were forced to run they were protected against stress and anxiety,” said Greenwood, lead author of the study appearing in the European Journal of Neuroscience in February.

Past studies have shown that people who exercise are more protected against stress—perhaps because the perception of control can benefit a person’s mental health. But if the perception of control is eliminated, would the exerciser still reap the anxiety-fighting benefits of the exercise? Yes.

“The implications are that humans who perceive exercise as being forced — perhaps including those who feel like they have to exercise for health reasons — are maybe still going to get the benefits in terms of reducing anxiety and depression.”

Even if you don’t like to exercise, forcing yourself to do it can have substantial happiness consequences!

ImageItem 29288, Don Sherwood Parks History Collection (Record Series 5801-01), Seattle Municipal Archives.

Category: Body

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: