Does exercise all us to become more “resistent” to stress? Is it a universal antidote to adversity? A recent NYTimes article by Gretchen Reynoldshttp://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/why-exercise-makes-us-feel-good/ seems to support this contention with references to human and mice studies. The article emphasizes the rodent “mind-set” by demonstrating how exercise allows submissive mice to rebound from stressful situations more robustly than their nonexercising colleagues.
As someone who has engaged in moderate exercise for the past 40+ years I would probably agree. Although I will not stop just now to test the hypothesis. But in general exercise seems the most reasonable way to achieve a multiplicity of worthwhile goals: 1) burn calories and control weight, 2) maintain cardiovascular health, 3) maintain muscle tone, 4) improve memory ( seems true), 5) reduce anxiety.
Will it prolong life itself? Hard to be sure. But it should improve the quality of whatever time we do have.