So you’ve added walking to your anxiety-fighting routine and are now a believer in brisk walking for lifting your mood. That’s great! If you enjoy the physical movement and its soothing mental effects, you may want to consider adding other types of movement to your life. You know exercise is great for your body and physical health. You’ve seen what just a bit of walking can do. Read on to learn how you can control anxiety with regular exercise, some types of movement that works best, and how fitness contributes to better stress management.
Exercise has measurable physical effects on the brain, as well as the body. Feel-good brain chemicals are released when you move your body. These include endorphins and endocannabinoids. Physical exertion also lowers the amounts of particular immune system chemicals that are known to worsen depression symptoms. Even the increase in your body temperature from exercise can produce calming effects.
Some excellent emotional benefits come with moving your body, too. Getting your body going can be a tremendous distraction from your worries, allowing you to concentrate on mindfulness in the present or simply let your mind wander to more pleasant thoughts. Proving that you have what it takes to accomplish your exercise goals is a real boost to your confidence levels, not to mention what seeing a small, more toned reflection can do. Moderate amounts of exercise can also be among the best managing tools when you’re fighting regular anxiety.
You don’t have to commit to an intensive exercise routine to reap the benefits. Simply setting aside a few days each week for about a half-hour can do the trick. Even making easy changes to your daily routine like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further from the office can help. Consider adding exercises like running, hiking, or yoga to your schedule. These forms allow you to get out into nature, are simple enough to give your mind some downtime and offer benefits like enhanced mental focus.
Whatever you choose, be sure it’s something enjoyable for you. This will increase your chances of committing to your new routine and motivate you to press on. Assess what has held you back from exercising in the past, and plan strategies to overcome them. For example, you may need to find an accountability partner to engage in workouts with you if you get bored quickly on your own. Set reasonable goals for yourself if fitness hasn’t been a regular part of your life. Starting small increases the odds that you won’t give up, but it’s also safer. Always check with your doctor to be sure you’re physically able to take on the type of exercise that interests you.
There are vast arrays of benefits that come along with physical fitness. You now know that reducing anxiety is one that can be most advantageous to you. Get out there and get moving if you want to tame your anxiety levels.