[BYWG Blog] Do You Know How Exercise Can Help You With Anxiety
We all get anxious sometimes.
When we experience anxiety, our body initiates our fight or flight response and goes on full alert looking for physical danger.
But most of the time, anxiety doesn’t stem from physical danger. So our brains can be confused by the feeling of danger – which can make us feel tense, nervous, uncomfortable, worried, panicked, overwhelmed, and/or out of control.
Sometimes there is a reason to feel anxious or worried – an actual stressful threat or situation even though it may not be physical danger.
Other times, we may struggle with anxiety that is more generalized and difficult to pinpoint a causation.
Or we may experience a high level of anxiety over a seemingly average situation – which can be a symptom of an anxiety disorder.
In fact, 40 million adults in the U.S. struggle with an anxiety disorder. That is 18.1% of the adult population.
WHO reports that 1 in 13 adults worldwide suffer from anxiety.
If you struggle with an anxiety disorder, the best thing that you can do is seek a qualified professional who can monitor and treat your anxiety. (I am not a qualified professional.)
But exercise can (and should) be part of a treatment plan to help manage anxiety symptoms!
And exercise can also help soothe the day to day anxiety that we all experience.
Here are 5 truths about anxiety and exercise:
🏃♀️ When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are natural stress and anxiety busters. The release of endorphins also improves your quality of sleep – which can reduce stress and anxiety.
🏃♀️ Scientific studies have shown that aerobic exercise can effectively elevate your mood, lower anxiety, decrease tension, and increase emotional stability.
🏃♀️ As little as 5 to 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can noticeably enhance your mood and lower your anxiety.
🏃♀️ After 10-15 weeks of maintaining an aerobic routine, your overall mental status should show improvements.
🏃♀️ Some of the best exercises to decrease anxiety include: swimming, biking, running, brisk walks, tennis, and dancing. If you can get outside to do these activities in the sunshine, you will boost your serotonin levels as well – increasing positive feelings and decreasing negative feelings.