So you’ve added walking to your anxiety-fighting routine and are now a believer in the power of a brisk walk 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. Today, we’re going to learn how we can control anxiety with regular exercise, some types of movement that work 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 certain immune system chemicals that are known to worsen depression symptoms. Even the increase in your body temperature from exercise can produce calming effects.
There are some awesome emotional benefits that 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 to 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 in the mirror can do. Moderate amounts of exercise can also be one of the best coping mechanisms 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 agenda.
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, just 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 these issues. For example, you may need to find an accountability partner to engage in workouts with you if you get bored easily on your own.
Set reasonable goals for yourself if fitness hasn’t been a regular part of your life. Starting small not only increases the odds that you won’t give up, 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 wide 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.