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Exercise Busts Holiday Stress

A little exercise can go a long way toward taming holiday stress -- and it's good for your waistline, as well.

Even half an hour of brisk walking, running, cycling, or swimming can help you to focus, get away from stressors, and feel happier.

When you exercise, the body releases the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is part of the brain's reward system -- that is, your body secretes it when something "good" occurs, whether it be chocolate, sex, or exercise. For many people, dopamine appears to improve mood more than antidepressants after exercise.

Plus, exercise can help you to burn off some of those extra holiday calories.

So pull out those running or walking shoes, tie on some jingle bells, and head outside!