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Stress Relief and Running

Stress relief and running: why this feel so good!Cardio cardio cardio.  Sometimes the thought of jumping on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes after a long days work is the last thing on your mind.  But in reality, after a long days work or a stressful week cardiovascular training could be exactly what you need mentally.

According to a study published in 2004 by the Journal of Psychophysiology, regular aerobic training reduces the heart rate response to psychological stress more than resistance training or no training (2004; 41 [4], 552–62).  This is what some may call a “runners high,” which is a euphoric feeling post cardiovascular training.  In the study, 45 sedentary, nonsmoking males and females aged 18-30 participated in aerobic training, resistance training or no training for 6-weeks.  The two main variables tested were blood pressure and heart rate.

The researchers at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, reported that participants in both the aerobic training and resistance training groups had lower systolic blood pressure levels than the group who did no training. Aerobically trained participants had lower heart rate levels during psychological stress after training than did either of the other groups.

The researchers suggested that since aerobic training can lower heart rate response to psychological stress, it could offer a protective benefit over the long term against an increase in the risk of coronary heart disease.

Learn about the Stress Management Coach Certification from the Spencer Institute.

by Tyler Valencia
NESTA faculty

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