How exercise can assist in coping with anxiety

A man sitting on the ground after exercising

Whether you’re experiencing a particularly stressful time or struggling with ongoing anxiety associated with everyday life, ensuring that you stay active can be a great coping mechanism as exercise has been proven to help alleviate stress and anxiety.

How exercise contributes to a positive mood

Increased physical exercise has been found to enhance mood, increase energy, and aid with better quality sleep.

There are a number of reasons why physical exercise is beneficial to mental well-being:

  • Exercise reduces stress hormone levels such as cortisol. Additionally, it raises endorphins, your body’s “feel-good” chemicals which naturally boost your mood.
  • Physical exercise serves to divert your attention away from negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Exercise boosts self-esteem by increasing confidence in your abilities and physique.
  • Exercise can aid in weight loss, body toning, and maintaining a healthy glow and smile.
  • Physical activity can be a beneficial source of social support. Having friends and family nearby may help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, and many physical activities can also serve as social activities. Therefore, whether you join a yoga class, play football or join a running club, exercising in a group setting may provide a double dosage of stress alleviation.

Exercise acts as a stress reliever

Physical exercise can be associated with a reduced physiological response to stress. Simply stated, people who are more physically active may become less susceptible to the symptoms of anxiety.

Exercise programs that assist in relieving anxiety symptoms

Currently, there is no one-size-fits-all method of exercise for treating anxiety and its symptoms. Each person reacts uniquely to diverse activities. Cardiovascular activities can provide a larger mental boost for some whilst others will benefit more from weightlifting or team sports. If you want to use exercise to alleviate anxiety, experiment with different training regimens to find the one that works best for you.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Regular aerobic exercise such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, or dancing, reduces the levels of stress chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol, according to Harvard University researchers. Performing any cardiac exercise for at least 30 minutes three to five times each week reduces stress and avoids multi-day anxiety building.

Cardio activities need the least amount of organisation and preparation for people who get apprehensive or overwhelmed by the prospect of starting an exercise regimen for the first time. People can jog or cycle in groups or on their own. Additionally, there is no need to go to a crowded gym. Aerobic exercise may be performed inside or outdoors and in any context, such as a trail, neighbourhood, or gym, which makes cardio regimens more adaptable than other types of fitness.

Lifting weights

Cardio exercises are not for everyone. Emphasise fun activities over pushing yourself into regimens you don’t enjoy, especially when the goal is to reduce stress and anxiety. Preventing exercise from seeming like a chore will encourage you to engage in everyday activity on a continuous basis.

Weightlifting is a favourite exercise for some, and it has also been shown to reduce anxiety and stress. The main benefit of weightlifting is muscle building, which boosts confidence. Weightlifting generates the same anti-stress hormone as running and the same mood-enhancing hormone, endorphin. Thus, those who prefer to lift weights rather than jog or do other cardio exercises don’t forfeit any chemical benefits.

Exercise in groups

Exercise preferences can also vary between an individual or small-group workouts. Different personality types may want activities that are more engaging and participatory, such as team sports. Joining a local football team, running group or cycling with pals can help in reducing stress by releasing endorphins, improving physical health, and satisfying social interaction needs.

Consider adding physical exercise to your routine if you suffer from anxiety. A new, healthier lifestyle may provide several health advantages and help reduce stress.


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