The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the acute effects of physical activity and relaxation on state anxiety and blood lactate. Thirty male Ss performed resistance exercise (N=15) or cycling (N=15) for 50 min at 70% of maximum, while 30 additional male Ss practiced autogenic relaxation (N=15) or rested quietly (N=15) in a sound chamber for 50 min. Assessment of state anxiety and blood lactate was performed before, 5-10 min and 60 min following treatments. The data were analyzed with a repeated measures ANOVA for multifactor experiments, and results indicate a significant group by trial interaction for state anxiety (p<0.0001) and lactate (p < 0.0001). Post-hoc analysis revealed that: 1. lactate increased (p<0.001) immediately following resistance exercise and fell to baseline levels 60 min post exercise; 2. state anxiety was decreased (p < 0.01) at 5-10 min following autogenic relaxation and quiet rest; and 3. a reduction (p < 0.001) in state anxiety was noted at 60 min following cycling. It is concluded that: 1. comparable anxiolytic effects occur following aerobic exercise (cycling), autogenic relaxation and quiet rest, but the effect persists for a longer period of time following aerobic exercise; and 2. accumulation of lactate does not influence state anxiety in normal individuals.