Exercise Could Tamper Anger

(Compiled from the New York Times) A study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that perhaps exercise is a partial remedy for anger control. University of Georgia researchers chose 16 young men with a ‰ÛÏshort fuse.‰Û The men filled out a survey about their moods at that moment. During the two days of the study, the men were each fitted with high-tech hairnets containing multiple sensors that could read electrical activity in the brain. Next, researchers flashed a series of slides across viewing screens set up in front of each young man. The slides, intended to induce anger, depicted upsetting events interspersed with more pleasant images. Electrical activity in the men‰Ûªs brains indicated that they were growing angry during the display. On alternate days, after viewing the slides again in a different order, the men either sat quietly or rode a stationary bike for 30 minutes at a moderate pace while their brain patterns and verbal estimations of anger were recorded. The results showed that when the volunteers hadn‰Ûªt exercised, their second viewing of the slides aroused significantly more anger than the first. After exercise, conversely, the men‰Ûªs anger reached a plateau.

Nathaniel Thom, a stress physiologist who was the study‰Ûªs lead researcher, remarked ‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs like taking aspirin to combat heart disease,‰Û he said. ‰ÛÏYou reduce your risk.‰Û Researchers hope future studies will help to determine the specific underlying mechanisms that link exercise and a reduction of anger.

Thom says the lesson for now is ‰ÛÏif you know that you‰Ûªre going to be entering into a situation that is likely to make you angry, go for a run first.‰Û