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Doing Exercise May Not Be A Good Idea When You’re Angry or Emotionally Upset

Exercise and Anger

Science has proven that exercise has many health benefits from brain health to longevity. During upsetting times, moderate exercises like walking or gardening makes people feel happy1.

In another study reported by NYTimes, researchers find that moderate activity like running or walking is good for managing anger. However, a recent study2 published in the AHA(American Heart Association) contradicts the previous findings.

According to the researchers exercising while feeling angry or emotionally upset can trigger acute myocardial infarction. In other words, the risk of heart attack increases.

Should We Ignore Doing Exercise?

Due to this contradicting findings, should we just ignore exercising altogether? Definitely, the answer is no. Exercise or any form of physical activities are beneficial for the body. Note that this study is based on observation. The researchers noted the limitations of their study.

The main limitation of this study is recall bias because participants who experienced AMI may differentially recall the intensity of exposure to either triggering event and participants may recall exposures as more proximate to the MI than it actually was.

This is clear that the study is not in a controlled environment. The researchers only rely on the participants recalling their experiences performing exercise while feeling upset. This is not conclusive that we should ignore to exercise because of this study.

The researchers also added in the discussion section of the paper and recommend regular physical activity.

Although vigorous physical exertion may act as a trigger of AMI, we did not find any effect modification in the association by baseline level of physical activity. Importantly, our findings suggest that heavy physical exertion may be a trigger for AMI, rather than any physical activity, because the INTERHEART controls were more habitually active. Therefore, clinicians should continue to recommend regular physical activity, while highlighting that short-term intense physical activity may carry a risk of triggering AMI.

It is also clear the researchers mentioned exercise with heavy physical exertion may trigger heart attack. Moderate exercise like walking, running, and even doing yoga are not mentioned. In fact, moderate exercises especially yoga has been found to be helpful for releasing stress according to UCLA and Harvard.

Ways To Handle and Release Anger

Since we’re talking about anger and that we found out exercise is beneficial, it may be a good idea to learn anger-releasing and management techniques.

  • Moderate exercises like running, walking, and yoga
  • Controlled breathing exercise
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Listening to calming and relaxing music
  • Repeat to yourself calming affirmations
  • Journaling – just write about the things you’re angry and burn it.

Tips On Dealing with Anger

Let’s face it. Anger already happens and it’s happening right now. What can you do aside from the techniques mentioned earlier? Brendon Burchard, an author and motivational speaker shares his tips on how to deal with anger.

How To Avoid Anger?

It’s very rare to encounter people who don’t get angry. So, it’s difficult to avoid anger, but there are things we can do to minimize occurrences. Among these things include regular meditation practice. Spending time especially during morning upon waking up just to be silent for a moment is an amazing mood booster.

Another good thing, but although unusual, it’s quite effective when done regularly. This is about doing creative visualization and whole body relaxation routine. It’s almost similar to meditation, but in this case, you’re more focus on taming your anger.

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