Exercise can alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety
How Exercise Can Help Manage Anxiety: Tips for Starting and Staying Committed
Living with anxiety can make engaging in exercise the last thing you want to do, but regular physical activity can help manage your symptoms. Not only can exercise help prevent and improve health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis, but it can also improve your mood and reduce anxiety, as studies have shown.
Although it’s not entirely clear how exercise and anxiety are connected, it’s evident that working out and other physical activities can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety while preventing future episodes. To start an exercise routine, consider talking to your doctor, setting reasonable goals, and choosing an activity that you enjoy.
How Exercise Can Help with Anxiety and Depression
The Positive Effects of Endorphins
When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can improve your mental state and give you a sense of well-being.
Distracting Your Mind from Negative Thoughts
When you’re feeling anxious or depressed, it can be hard to break out of negative thought patterns. Exercise can help distract you from these thoughts and worries, giving you a much-needed break.
Psychological and Emotional Benefits
Exercise can also help improve your self-confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment when you reach your fitness goals. It can also provide opportunities for social interaction and give you a healthy coping mechanism to deal with anxiety and depression.
Starting a Regular Exercise Routine
Starting a new exercise routine can be difficult, but it’s essential to find an activity that you enjoy and can commit to. Even small steps can help you stay motivated and make physical activity a regular part of your life, which is crucial for managing anxiety and depression symptoms.
The Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise on Mood
Exercise and anxiety: The positive effects of exercise on mood have been widely researched, but is structured exercise the only option to reap these benefits?
Physical activity versus exercise
While exercise is a planned, structured activity to maintain or improve physical fitness, physical activity can encompass anything that requires energy and works your muscles, such as household chores, work, or leisure activities.
A Range of Activities
Physical activity does not have to be limited to formal exercise, like running, lifting weights, or playing sports. Everyday activities like gardening, washing your car, or walking can improve your mood.
Incorporating Small Amounts of Physical Activity
Adding small amounts of physical activity to your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away, or biking to work, can have a positive effect on your mood.
Benefits of Working with a Certified Personal Trainer
Working with a certified personal trainer can help you stay motivated and create a customized exercise plan to suit your abilities and needs. They can also assist with improving technique, preventing injury, and ensuring safe and effective exercise.
TAKE AN HOUR
How Much Exercise is Necessary for Mental Health?
Research indicates that exercising for at least 30 minutes, three to five days a week can substantially improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, even small amounts of physical activity, such as 10 to 15 minutes, can make a difference. Vigorous activities such as cycling or running may require less time exercising to enhance mood.
Staying Motivated and Starting Out
Sustaining a physical activity program long-term requires discovering exercises you like. Identify what types of activities are of interest, when they can be incorporated into your schedule, and how realistically you can follow through. Mental health professionals can help to create an exercise regimen that is appropriate for your treatment. Develop practical goals that match your abilities.
Developing a Positive Attitude toward Exercise
Thinking of exercise as a task can make one view it as a failure. Instead, regard it as a mechanism to promote mental health, much like therapy sessions or medication. Identify obstacles preventing you from being physically active or exercising and find alternate solutions. A certified personal trainer is beneficial for starting a new fitness routine.
Preparing for Obstacles and Setbacks
Setbacks are unavoidable, but crediting oneself for every little progress made can help maintain motivation. Keep in mind that missing exercise for one day does not imply quitting altogether. Get back to it the next day and continue to work towards your objectives.
Regular exercise can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise stimulates the release of feel-good chemicals and provides a distraction from negative thoughts. Engaging in physical activity can also provide a range of psychological and emotional advantages and provide healthy coping mechanisms for managing anxiety and depression symptoms. Finding physical activities that you enjoy and setting reasonable goals that fit your needs and abilities is key to sticking with them long-term. Even small amounts of physical activity can make a difference, and setbacks and obstacles are inevitable, but giving yourself credit for every small step in the right direction can help you maintain motivation.
Remember, if you have suicidal thoughts, reach out to 988 – Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, available 24 hours a day in English and Spanish.