How Exercise Might Help You Ease Your Anxiety
By Sandy Schroeder
Anxiety takes many forms. If you are dealing with ongoing worry, anxious moments, and lost sleep, you may be looking for ways to get back on track. You have plenty to do every day without losing your momentum as you struggle with negative thoughts.
According to Harvard Health, 1 in 5 Americans over 18 have experienced a chronic anxiety disorder during the past year. You may not be at that stage, but still feel anxiety is clouding your life, you may want to see what exercise can do to help.
Sometimes when we become bogged down with anxiety, the last thing we want to do is exercise, but it may be worth the effort to get moving and keep moving.
Individuals who have made the choice to exercise every day often say it worked to steer them back to better health and away from the greater risks of depression, diabetes and cardiovascular issues.
Psychiatrists who have studied the effect of exercise on the brain say bike rides, brisk walks and dance classes can be powerful tools to ease nervous feelings and ongoing anxiety.
Here's How It Works
Check out all of the positives.
- Exercising the body relieves muscle tension and eases anxious feelings
- Exercise becomes a positive distraction
- Exercise changes brain chemistry creating positive anti-anxiety neurochemicals
- Exercise creates resilience helping us weather chaotic moments and stormy reactions
- Exercise works on the frontal part of the brain which helps us control reactions to real or imagined threats
How to Make Exercise Work for You
If you are more than ready to roll back anxiety, whatever type of exercise you choose may work just fine. Just make sure it appeals to you and fits into your daily schedule. You may find a brisk walk before breakfast works to get your day going. Or you may find a workout after work or a walk to the park after dinner helps you relax and enjoy the evening.
Get the Most for Your Effort
Try these simple steps.
- Make sure you get your heart rate up
- Try something new like dancing or tai chi
- Work out with friends to reinforce the habit
- Pick one you really enjoy to make sure it really happens
- Get outside whenever you can to get the extra benefits of nature
- Start tracking your progress and keep a diary of how you feel
Your anxious moments may not evaporate, but you may find yourself relaxing and just enjoying life more. Exercise may be the habit that helps you get back on track and focus more on all of the other positives. You will know it when you feel it working.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.