It is not breaking news that exercise gives you endorphins, which as a result brings about feelings of euphoria and general well being. Or perhaps better stated, from the words of Elle Woods in the movie Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” However if you are looking for something a little more scientific than the fitness advice of Ms. Woods, you’re in luck! A new study by the journal, Cognition and Emotion, was just published finding that going for a quick jog when you feel down, might be just what the doctor ordered.
Researchers Emily E. Bernstein and Richard J. McNally studied a group of 80 participants (half men, half women), evaluating their emotional state before and after running versus stretching. Just as the researchers expected, the participants who completed 30 minutes of aerobic activity, such as running, reported feeling less depressed or sad in comparison to those who had done stretching (non-aerobic activity) instead. Which means it’s official, running can help alleviate feelings of sadness and depression, resulting in an overall healthier emotional state.
So now you know, the next time you have the blues, or feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster, lace up your shoes and hit the pavement for an emotionally cleansing run.