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Americans Coping with Stress and Anxiety Find Relief with Exercise

Armen Hareyan's picture

Stress Relief

In the wake of the recent tragedy in the Gulf Coast, health experts say many Americans not directly affected by Hurricane Katrina may experience various levels of stress from witnessing the results of the devastation from afar. The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's nonprofit fitness authority, says exercise can actually help relieve some of the symptoms.

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"Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, has consistently been shown to be effective in helping individuals manage stress," said Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for ACE. "Research also indicates that exercise seems to relieve mild depression, elevate mood and help people maintain their 'cool' during trying times."

According to a 2004 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), 45% of Americans say they exercise to help reduce stress. Exercise is one of many healthy behaviors that can help people deal with stress and is part of one of the steps to building resilience, taking care of oneself. Additional information on building resilience is available at www.apahelpcenter.org