Sapolsky’s explanation of the role of exercise in relieving psychological stress finally clarified the idea of “blowing off steam” for me. I had only ever understood it in that half-arsed way. I knew I wanted to run when I was freaked out, but I did not really understand why: it was impulsive, instinctive. But this idea (and a bunch of other context) really brought it into focus.
The stress-response is about preparing your body for an explosive burst of energy consumption right now; psychological stress is about doing all the same things to your body for no physical reason whatsoever. Exercise finally provides your body with the outlet that it was preparing for.
- When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress (book), by Gabor Maté. Amazon.com ❐
- Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (book), by Robert M Sapolsky.
These three articles on PainScience.com cite this item as a source:
- Anxiety & Chronic Pain
- Endurance Training for Pain & Rehab
- Strength Training for Pain & Injury Rehab