Exercise relaxes the mind, according to new study

9 July 2013

A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience has shed more light on the positive effects of exercise. According to researchers, walking briskly or jogging stimulates nerve cells which relax the mind, ease tension and cancel out negative emotions.

Although studies have previously linked exercise with relief from anxiety, stress and sadness, the chemical processes involved have remained a mystery until now.

The breakthrough healthcare research reveals that moderate exercise releases soothing neurons in the brain. Although physical activity has also been found to trigger growth of new neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory, scientists have discovered that it also strengthens cognitive functions. As such, mechanisms that prevent brain cells from firing and becoming overly excitable are much more effective.

The study highlights the complexity of the human brain and the important role exercise plays in mental and emotional stability. Lead researcher and professor at Princeton University, Elizabeth Gould, said the study could help scientists better understand and treat anxiety disorders.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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