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Exercise and stress reduction

Alternative Names

Stress reduction and exercise



Can exercise help reduce a person's stress level?


Yes. Research has found that there are mental health benefits from exercise, including reduced stress and increased confidence for those who exercise regularly -- even 20 minutes a day. Exercise helps you improve your overall health. It also reduces your risk of developing chronic (life-long) conditions such as heart disease, and may help prevent dementia and some forms of cancer.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Accessed February 22, 2009.

Agerter DC, Rasmussen NH, Sutor B. Depression. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 58.

Larzeiere MM, Jones GN. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. Wellness. 2008;35.

Review Date: 2/22/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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