This article from The Brain Flux lists numerous benefits that exercise has on the body both physically and mentally.
The section about the Neurobiological benefits is especially interesting as it talks about how exercise can chemically alter your brain!
“Exercise is a great way to beat stress. I don’t want to beat that into the ground, those are pretty well known. But can the benefit stretch beyond just relieving stress? Recent research out of Princeton took a look at some of the less understood mechanisms of stress relief to tackle that question.”
“These scientists ran an experiment on mice that exercised and those that didn’t. What they saw was that exercise actually reorganizes the structure of the brain to react differently to a stressful situation. The second finding was noticing that the brain increased the release of a specific neurotransmitter when a stressful situation was encountered. The role of this neurotransmitter was to reduce the excitability – or firing – of neurons. What’s the significance? It means that exercise helped reduce the level of anxiety when exposed to stress. A neuro-level coping mechanism used by the brain. Those who exercise are better able to deal with stressful situations in their day to day lives. The result is better health, better decisions, and more control throughout the day.”
Enjoy reading about the countless other amazing benefits of exercise here: http://thebrainflux.com/brain-benefits-of-exercise/