Exercise relieves stress

Exercise is an important part of my routine.  Generally twice a week walking an hour (approx 4 miles in an hour on flat land) or on 30 min on the treadmill with inclines to get my pulse up to 145-150, PLUS twice a week strength training.  I believe strength training has been crucial to my weight loss and maintenance – and it’s fun.

An article in today’s NYT summarizes evidence that exercise makes us better able to withstand stress:

A separate study, presented last month at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, showed that six weeks of bicycle riding or weight training eased symptoms in women who’d received a diagnosis of anxiety disorder. The weight training was especially effective at reducing feelings of irritability, perhaps (and this is my own interpretation) because the women felt capable now of pounding whomever or whatever was irritating them. 🙂

I think that the weight loss effects of exercise go far beyond burning calories.  Exercise reduces stress, making us less likely to do stress-related eating of high fat/sugar/salt food.

BTW, I’m winding up a very busy teaching trip and have not exercised in 4 days now – and I miss it.  I’ve scheduled (with myself) some exercise time tomorrow.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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