Anger Management

Exercise, Can It Reduce Angry Feelings?

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Exercise, Can It Reduce Angry Feelings?Most of us are now aware of the beneficial effects that exercise has on health and depression. Multiple studies demonstrate that daily exercise, especially a program that includes aerobics, can prevent or reduce feelings of depression. Now, there is new information available about the possible impact that exercise might have on feelings of anger.

A recent study presented at American College of Sports Medicine's 57th Annual Meeting in Baltimore discovered that exercise might have a beneficial affect on anger in men.

The researchers discussed the need for more research in this neglected area of the relationship between anger and exercise.

If you think about it, the results make sense because depression is often accompanied by a good dose of irritability and anger. In other words, if aerobic exercise reduces depression it is bound to have a positive effect in reducing anger.

However, it is also true that angry outbursts can have nothing to do with depression. There are those people who experience so much rage that they cannot control their impulse to strike out at people. This is separate and apart from the problem of alcohol and drug abuse and its connection to poor impulse control.

It is very important to remember that, if you are a person who easily gets angry and has angry outbursts, you can be harming your health. This chronic type of expression of anger gives rise to cardio vascular disease.

To clarify, aerobic exercise is the type that gets a person out of breath while increasing the pulse and heart rate while doing such things as running, walking fast, swimming, bicycle riding and etc. The work out schedule need not exclude non aerobic exercise. Rather, its simply important to include aerobics into any work out program.

If you are in good health there is a lot to be gained from a 30 minute program of working out either at the gym, in the park or at home. If you have any type of medical condition, or, if you are uncertain about the state of your health, you should consult your physician. Once you get medical clearance for exercise it is worth planning and using a work out schedule of at least three times per week.

After all, you have nothing to lose except: excess weight, depression and now, maybe even anger.

So, if you want to better manage your angry feelings when they arise, a good workout may be the way to go.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD.




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