Fighting with your guy or having your brilliant (or so you thought) ideas vetoed in a meeting can compel you to head straight to the weight room or the running path—and for good reason. A serious sweat session zaps stress, releasing tension and anger, and boosting levels of feel-good brain chemicals including endorphins.

But far from canceling each other out, psychological stress and exercise have a much more complicated relationship—and not always a compatible one. Relationship troubles or pressure at the office can distract your mind and overwhelm your body, derailing your workout routine and preventing you from reaching your fitness and weight-loss goals. But science shows you can learn to harness stress to boost your success in the gym—and outside it.

RELATED: Does One Workout Really Do Anything For You?

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