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It has been three weeks since I started doing cardio exercises and I feel calm and relaxed. Is it because of the exercises? How does exercise improve mental health?

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Welcome to the site, I edited your question as you seem to be very certain that exercise already increased your mental health. If you are unhappy with the changes, feel free to revert or edit again. – Baarn Mar 20 '13 at 19:11
Thanks. I was confused how to ask the question. U made it clear. – Prem Anand Mar 20 '13 at 19:19
I can't speak authoritatively, but anecdotally, I always feel much, much happier when I work out frequently. – Alexander Gruber Mar 20 '13 at 22:01
I would suggest adding this question to the proposed Mind Stack Exchange site ... they're trying to meet their quota of 40 good sample questions, and it's a good fit. – Eyal Mar 21 '13 at 8:33
How to add there? – Prem Anand Mar 21 '13 at 9:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in bloodcirculation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress. This physiologic influence is probably mediated by the communication of the HPA axis with several regions of the brain, including the limbic system, which controls motivation and mood; the amygdala, which generates fear in response to stress; and the hippocampus, which plays an important part in memory formation as well as in mood and motivation.


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