Is there anything negative to say about exercise?

According to a recent article inThe New York Times, exercise not just enhances mood and reduces anxiety but scientists are on the groundbreaking cusp of understanding the physiological processes that enable you to feel that amazing workout high after a long run or trek on the treadmill.

We have long known that exercise enables the growth of new brain cells. But at an October meeting for the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, researchers from Princeton University revealed a startling revelation: In response to exercise, brains are calmer and more able to respond to stressful stimuli than brains that have not been exposed to regular exercise.

While the research was conducted on rats, the study does hold powerful implications for the far-reaching benefits of exercise in humans.

According to The New York Times, rats whose oxidative-stress levels had been artificially increased with injections of certain chemicals were extremely anxiouswhen faced with unfamiliar terrain during laboratory testing. But rats that had exercised, even if they had received the oxidizing chemical, were relatively nonchalant under stress.

It looks more and more like the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they're more equipped to handle stress in other forms, says Michael Hopkins, a graduate student affiliated with the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory at Dartmouth.

Reprinted with permission from Dietsinreview