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How Exercise Can Help Treat Anxiety

Anxiety is a chronic mental health disorder that can have a serious impact on a person’s ability to function in daily life. It is typically characterized by feelings of fear, worry, and unease that are often accompanied by physical symptoms like sweating, heart palpitations, and difficulty breathing.  

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in the United States, affecting 40 million adults over the age of 18. Anxiety can manifest in many different ways, and while it is normal to feel anxious at times, it becomes a disorder when the feelings are persistent and interferes with daily life. While there are many effective treatments for anxiety, exercise is an option that can help lessen symptoms and improve overall well-being.

There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder. Exercise has been shown to be effective in helping to treat all of these types of anxiety.

What Exercise Can Do for You

The benefits of exercise for anxiety are numerous. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase endorphin levels, which are hormones that have mood-boosting effects. It also helps to improve self-esteem, body image, and overall physical health, which can all be negatively affected by anxiety.

In addition to the mental health benefits, exercise also has physical health benefits that can help to lessen the symptoms of anxiety. Exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, which are all markers of stress. It can also help to improve circulation and breathing, both of which can be affected by anxiety.

Finding the Right Workout

There are a number of different ways to exercise, and what works best may vary from person to person. Some people find that high-intensity activities like running or lifting weights help to reduce anxiety, while others find that gentler activities like yoga or walking are more effective. It is important to find an activity that you enjoy and that you can stick with in order to see the most benefit.

If you are struggling with anxiety, exercise may be a helpful option for you. Talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to discuss whether exercise is a good fit for you and to develop a plan that meets your needs.

Here’s a list of just some of the ways exercise can help:

1. Exercise is proven to be beneficial in reducing anxiety levels as a result of the release of endorphins in the brain and other feel-good chemicals produced during workouts.

2. A regular exercise routine can be helpful for improving the quality and duration of sleep you get, which can, in turn, help to reduce anxiety levels as well.

3. A regular exercise routine can make you feel more energetic, which in turn improves your mood and can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.

4. As a result of exercising, individuals with anxiety are able to improve their concentration and focus, which can be helpful for those who often experience racing thoughts as part of their anxiety.

5. Exercise can help to reduce the level of stress in the body, which can be a leading cause of anxiety.

6. Exercise is a great way to boost one’s self-esteem and confidence which can be an effective and healthy way to combat feelings of anxiety.

7. It can be beneficial for those with anxiety who are at an increased risk for heart problems to exercise in order to help improve their heart health.

8. As a result of physical activity, the body’s level of cortisol, the stress hormone, can be reduced.

9. Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory, which can prove beneficial to people with anxiety who frequently have memory problems due to their anxiety symptoms.

Getting Treatment

At LAT we have the training, knowledge, and experience to help you or your loved one take on your anxiety and find a treatment plan that works. Our Team has a proven track record of helping people gain self-confidence, find direction, and overcome their problems going back over 40 years. Our promise is to provide personalized, one-to-one care based on your priorities and your needs so you can meet your goals and make progress towards recovery. Contact our Clinical Team to get started today!