Research appearing in the November, 1999 issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine demonstrates the value that exercise has for reducing stress. The subjects of the study were 135 college students. The study found that those who exercised regularly coped with stress better and had 37% fewer physical symptoms than those who did not exercise regularly. Sedentary students had 21% more anxiety than the students who exercised regularly.
Exercise can also improve the mood of depressed individuals, according to research appearing in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (December 2001;41;539-545). Eighty volunteers took a mood test prior to an aerobics class. 52 of the subjects were determined to be in a depressed mood. The questionnaire was given again, after the class. Participating in the class reduced fatigue, tension and feelings of anger.
Exercise even improves brain power, according to a report presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Psychophysiological Research in Montreal, Canada October 18, 2001. The study looked at teh thinking ability of 20 subjects between the ages of 18 and 24 after running for a half-hour. After the exercise the subjects were connected to an EEG. They were given computer tests before and agter the exercise. The brain wave measurements showed that the decision making process was faster after the exercise.