Exercise Reduces Stress-Related Brain Activity

New research led by Massachusetts General Hospital indicates that exercise reduces stress. The team found that physical activity decreases cardiovascular disease risk by reducing stress-related brain signaling. Individuals with stress-related conditions, like depression, benefit most from this effect. In a study of 50,359 participants, those meeting physical activity recommendations had a 23% lower risk of cardiovascular disease over a 10-year period. Higher physical activity levels correlated with lower stress-related brain activity, particularly in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is involved in executive function and stress regulation. These reductions in brain signaling contributed to the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, especially significant for individuals with pre-existing depression. The findings suggest that clinicians could emphasize the brain effects of physical activity, potentially amplifying cardiovascular benefits, especially in those with stress-related syndromes like depression. In all, while exercise reduces stress, the ensuing change also adds to the physical benefits of working out.


Join the AGEIST movement!
Sign-up for our weekly magazine.

See medical disclaimer below.

The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Taylor Marks
Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and professionally trained chef from The Institute of Culinary Education. Her passions include the latest research in health science, culinary arts, holistic wellness, and guiding others towards feeling their best.