The Abstract Podcast

Exercise vs. stress: How working out affects our mental health

In this episode, we discuss why working out is beneficial for depression and stress resilience.

Originally Published: 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to throw down challenges threatening our mental health, we've picked up various coping mechanisms.

And while the overeating, upped drinking, marathon Animal Crossing sessions, obsessive cleaning — and more overeating— does take some of the edge off, the latest science confirms yet again why exercise is one of the best tools in our arsenal.

New evidence suggests working out helps us cope with stress down the line, arming us with increased mental strength and making us more resilient.

And for people with greater levels of reward processing, it’s been crucial for reducing depression symptoms. So if you impulse-bought a new Peloton or managed to snatch up the last overpriced kettlebell on Amazon, you’re on to something.

Putting them to use can help you feel strong physically (and your mental health will thank you, too).

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss why working out is beneficial for depression and stress resilience.

Our first story is about how exercise can help treat depression — especially in people with certain brain signals. With the latest data adding to a growing body of evidence, researchers remain hopeful about harnessing exercise as an antidepressant down the line.

Our second story reveals how exercise actually strengthens the brain's resilience to stress. Through a better understanding of its biological impact, experts show how exercise does a lot more than make you sweat out feel-good chemicals.

Read the original Inverse stories:

Where to find us:

Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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