Even Light Exercise Can Fight Stress

Feeling anxious? Some light exercise could calm you down. Rachel Blacklock, a University of Victoria graduate student in exercise science, physical and health education, studied the effects of exercise intensity on anxiety in breast cancer survivors and in people who had never been diagnosed with cancer. Working with her graduate supervisor, professor of exercise psychology Ryan Rhodes, her results showed that a little exercise can be just as helpful as a more intense workout. Blacklock found that exercise at a light intensity—riding an exercise bike at a level roughly equivalent to a brisk walk—decreased anxiety levels in participants as much as moderate exercise did. She also found that the results were the same in cancer survivors and non-cancer survivors. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re going for a hard cycle or a leisurely walk,” she says. “It can have the same impact on your feelings of wellbeing and levels of anxiety. It’s just important to do something.”

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Keywords: light, exercise, fight, stress

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