Cardio: Nature’s Super-drug?Posted: July 22, 2013
By: Lizzie Myers, July 22, 2013,
Picture this: you’re behind on a major project for your boss this week, which just happens to coincide with your children’s first week of school. Between the angry emails from your boss and what feels like a million trips to Staples for last minute school supplies, you’re about to lose it.
In stressful situations like this, don’t rely on a heaping bowl of ice cream. Instead, go for a run, walk or bike ride- and make it a habit!
We already know that cardiovascular exercise (cardio for short) improves many aspects of our physical health and gives us endorphins for a quick mood boost. Recently, a study at Princeton University found yet another benefit: A daily dose of cardio can calm anxiety, helping you keep your cool in stressful situations.
The researchers found differences between runners and non-runners in the hippocampal region of the brain, which, among other things, is responsible for processing emotions. Runners’ brains formed far more new neurotransmitters called GABA that work to calm easily excitable neurons. In simpler terms, getting into a cardio routine will keep you calm in situations that once seemed panic-worthy.
So go put your sneakers on and get active! Short term, it will give you a burst of energy to tackle today’s tasks. Over time, you will be able to take on the day-to-day stressors with ease. Not to mention, this stress-reducing activity can serve as much needed “me time.” Whether you prefer the great outdoors or hitting the gym (great for people-watching!), escape for 30 minutes a day, and work away your stress.
Is motivation the hardest part? Here are some great songs to pump you up and get you moving:
* I Love It (Icona Pop)
* Don’t You Worry Child (Swedish House Mafia)
*Stronger (Kanye West)
If you want to keep reading about the powers of staying active check this New York Times article out!
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