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Baylor University: Scientific evidence shows exercise during times of stress can help people cope

Posted at 1:32 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 14:32:15-04

WACO TX — With anxiety higher than usual, many in psychology are emphasizing the need for people to maintain exercise, and a sense of normalcy.

“Getting outside is really important, especially during a time like this, Because the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of stress," said Baylor University's Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Annie Ginty.

This is a similar message delivered earlier in the week by Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver who explained "it is essential for people to get outside and exercise for the benefit of their physical and mental health."

Waco officials made sure to note that while exercising and outside, people must adhere to social distancing guidelines for safety.

Research out of Baylor University labs shows evidence that not only does exercise help with stress, anxiety, and depression but it is shown to help people cope with high stress situations, like the pandemic.

“Some research from our lab at Baylor has shown that people who exercise more, when they are faced with some thing that makes them feel stressful or anxious, they actually perceive that is more helpful, so the feeling of anxiety makes them feel they’re able to cope with that situation“ said Ginty.

While exercising, the body produces calming hormones, like endorphines, which also help with sleeplessness.

"Exercise is a good stress on our body, because what it’s doing, our systems are changing, it’s increasing heart rate, it’s adrenaline. But everything’s increasing in balance, so our body is maintaining homeostasis," said Ginty.