Exercise obviously improves our hearts and prevents obesity, and the mental impacts could be just as great.
A new study says that exercise can literally change how we see the world - and those around us - by making our environment seem less threatening and more positive. This is a huge revelation because it explains why exercising and relaxation methods have been so successful when treating mood and anxiety disorders, according to study co-author Adam Heenan, a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada.
Researchers had 66 college students complete a questionnaire about anxiety and then had them exercise on a treadmill. Immediately after, the students completed a perceptual task that involved viewing a 3D simulation of a human stick figure walking. They guessed whether the figure was walking toward or away from them.
The people who exercised perceived the figure to be facing towards them less often than those who did not exercise. Those with anxiety problems saw the figure walking toward them, which meant they felt it to be more threatening instead of walking away from them.
"People who either walked or jogged on a treadmill for 10 minutes perceived these ambiguous figures as facing towards them (the observer) less often than those who simply stood on the treadmill," Heenan said in a statement. "The same was true when people performed progressive muscle relaxation."
So, if you're in need of a better look on life...a run could be just the fix!