When you’re dealing with a ton of stress at work, it can be tempting to skip your evening exercise class and instead opt to drown your sorrows in some wine. But according to a new study, you might not want to skip your workout when you’re feeling overwhelmed, since being fit is actually the key to combating stress-related health risks.
Scientists from the University of Basel in Switzerland and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden examined the fitness levels of nearly 200 workers, 51 percent of whom were men, with a mean age of 39 years. The study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that those who were stressed out were more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Yet, the cardiovascular risk factors were lower in stressed workers who were physically fit.
“Above all, these findings are significant because it is precisely when people are stressed that they tend to engage in physical activity less often,” study co-author Markus Gerber of University of Basel said in a statement.
Of course, forcing yourself to go to the gym, and not the bar, when you’re stressed at work is a pain. Maybe a workout buddy is just the motivation you need.