Most of us are familiar with the sensations of fear; the heart racing, mouth drying, stomach churning, dizzying reaction, that occurs when we encounter the unexpected. Fear, in and of itself, is a natural physiological response to real or perceived danger and one that has contributed heavily to the continuation of humanity. Knowing when to run from a physical threat and when to fight, allowed our ancestors to survive immediate dangers in their daily lives and continue to perpetuate the species. The modern landscape we face daily has changed considerably into what we might consider a more civilized, less threatening environment. So why, despite all this advancement, do more than 40 million of us between the ages of 18 and 51 in this country suffer from an anxiety disorder? It can all be so emotionally and physically exhausting. So how many of us have taken up running and resistance training to quell our anxiety? A study done across 8 weeks and involving 42 participants contrasted state anxiety responses, with the results showing a reduction in anxiety symptoms after 50 minutes of either aerobic or resistance training. An added benefit to all this running and lifting comes in the form of exercise-induced endorphins, the body’s natural opioids, which have, until recently, been given all the credit for the infamous “runner’s high,” but an emerging field of research is centering on the endocannabinoid system.

Read full story...