Latest Study Links Exercise with Reduced Anger
It’s common knowledge that exercise, even light amounts, can have many health benefits, especially for those who are getting older or are at high risk for such diseases as diabetes or heart disease. Throughout the years, medical researchers have been trying to establish how, exactly, exercise may affect moods. Previous studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between “happiness” and light exercise activities. Those suffering from depression have likewise been told to exercise to combat the disorder’s debilitating mood impairments.
However, a recent study has indicated that there may exist a relationship between exercise and the moderation of anger. The study was conducted at the University of Georgia and presented at the American College of Sports Medicine. Researchers found a group of undergraduate male students who indicated through a questionnaire that they were particularly prone to anger.
Members of the group were shown pictures containing anger-inducing images, like children in war situations and Ku Klux Klan gatherings. Many of these images triggered electrical activity in the brain that demonstrated the members of the test group were angry. The anger was confirmed after the subjects filled out a questionnaire asking their then current level of anger.
Every other day, one group of men was asked to sit quietly while the other group was asked to exercise on a stationary bike for 30 minutes. Of those who didn’t exercise, the average anger levels stayed about the same. However, for those who did exercise, the images did provoke anger, but the levels very quickly subsided after viewing the images.
While the study only demonstrated rather loosely that exercise can curb anger in a short time frame, other studies have shown that long-term exercise may substantially change the brain. The New York Times article that reported on the anger and exercise study also noted a 2007 Yale experiment in which it was shown that long-term running significantly altered the expression of several genes related to mood.
These recent studies and experiments can give renewed hope for patients who are suffering from mood disorders. Although medications can effectively treat many with such disorders, doctors emphasize the need for patients who struggle with mood to implement positive lifestyle changes. Insofar as this particular study is concerned, however, Nathaniel Thom, the leader of the study, suggested that if we find ourselves approaching a potentially angry situation, we should go for a run before confronting the situation.
This guest post is contributed by Tisha Dotson, who writes on the topics of medical coding certification. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: tishadotson86@gmail .com.