Bad news if you hate sit-ups (so pretty much the majority of us who don’t have six packs.) According to research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, strengthening your core could help reduce stress.
The researchers discovered that the connections between the brain and adrenal medulla (the inner portion of adrenal gland which is responsible for producing adrenaline and norepinephrine) are way more intricate than previously thought and according to a report by The Atlantic, “Complex networks throughout the primary sensory and motor cortices are tied directly to our stress responses.”
In other words, a significant number of neurons in the primary cortex in the brain are located in the axial muscle region (where those pesky abdominal muscles are) which control the adrenal medulla. Basically exercising those muscles can impact your stress levels.
“This link could provide a neural substrate for the control of stress through ‘core’ exercises, such as yoga and pilates,” the authors wrote in the study. So if you are feeling stressed sign up for a yoga or pilates or just do a few sit-ups before bed.