What if I told you that you could run your way to happiness, or that exercise could naturally allow you to burn away stress and anger and not just calories? Running and exercise reduce levels of stress hormones and boost the production of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that fight pain and boost positive mood.

The correlation between moods and working out is a prominent one. Moods, goals, and mindsets all have an influence on an individual’s motives and desires. Research conducted by Jennifer Lerner of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory found that anger can make people overconfident and motivated to take dangerous risks.

Many individuals look to exercise as an outlet to channel anger. Studies have shown that engaging in physical activity allows for anger to be released through the body’s movements, keeping stress levels and anger under control.

Aerobic exercise, which relies on oxygen to produce energy, increases the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and reduces anxiety. Walking, jogging, and cycling are all good examples of aerobic circuits. Taking part in team sports is another great way to get active, and cooperation with others can both reduce anger and stress.

Benefical stationary exercises include flexing and relaxing muscles and doing deep breathing exercises. These processes help relax your body, reducing your anger and anxiety.

Anger is more than just a mood that affects relationships or situations — it affects the body, heart, and mind. When anger is expressed as an action or emotion, many do not realize how detrimental it can be to an individual’s overall health and well-being. Many also don’t realize the importance of working out and how it reduces the buildup of anger, allowing you to feel recharged and positive.

Improving your physical condition is not only beneficial for the body but can help you better manage your emotions. Unhealthy responses to anger weaken the immune system and puts the body at risk. In a 1995 study published in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, scientists found that an angry experience could cause a dip in levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, which provides the first line of defence against infection.

Feelings of anger, stress, and depression can also have an impact on one’s life expectancy. A University of Michigan study conducted over a 17-year period found that couples who hold in their anger and repress feelings have a shorter lifespan than those who are vocal and express what’s on their mind when they’re angry.

Anger is especially damaging to cardiac health. When an individual is angry, their average heart rate of 80 beats per minute can drastically increase to 180 beats per minute. “In the two hours after an angry outburst, the chance of having a heart attack doubles,” Chris Aiken, instructor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, told Everyday Health.

Repressing anger is when one holds back their feelings and allows anger to build up. It is when an individual expresses their anger indirectly, and it is closely tied to heart disease. To protect your heart, find an outlet to channel your anger and regulate stress levels; identifying and addressing feelings is important to controlling anger.

Constructive anger is being able to express your feelings directly and in a problem-solving manner. This is a healthy way of dealing with frustration and is not associated with heart disease.

The brain processes all emotional stress and is therefore the first to feel the effects of anger. This then causes the body to release stress hormones that impact brain productivity and overall performance of the mind, heart, and body.

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