Tackling Anxiety With Exercise

Sep 09, 2014
Tagged with: Tackling Anxiety With Exercise

According to statistics, anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world, affecting more than 40 million adults in the United States alone.

The typical causes of anxiety include personality, brain chemistry, life events, genetics, and the disorder is also frequently linked with depression, which I discussed in my last blog post.

While the vast majority of anxiety sufferers will seek medicinal help and sometimes therapy, few people know that exercise is an extremely effective way to combat the symptoms of anxiety.

Indeed, numerous have studies (here and here for example) have shown a strong link between regular exercise and lower anxiety levels. And the best thing?

Exercise is free from side-effects and it will significantly improve your long term health and wellbeing, so it’s a win-win situation!


So why is exercise such a good way to keep anxiety in check?

The following are all reasons why exercise – be it swimming, running or working out – is such a powerful way to tackle the symptoms of anxiety.


  • Burn Cortisol

Cortisol is known as the body’s ‘stress hormone’, and the vast majority of people with an anxiety disorder will have an excess amount of cortisol in their bodies.

Exercising depletes your body’s supply of cortisol and thus prevents further symptoms of anxiety from developing.


  • Stops inactivity

By exercising regularly, you are preventing your body from becoming inactive, which is one of the leading causes of anxiety.

Inactivity can lead to increased levels of cortisol, unused energy, a weak immune system, as well as a whole host of secondary factors (such as lack of social interaction).


  • Improve Sleep

The majority of those who suffer from an anxiety disorder will find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, which can become a vicious circle.

Regular exercise will tire the body out, which, in turn, will help the body sleep – even with anxiety.


  • Releases Relaxing Neurotransmitters

Last but certainly not least, exercise is extremely powerful at tackling anxiety because it releases endorphins into your brain, which act as your body’s natural painkillers and help relax your brain and regulate your mood.

This is effectively what most medicine will try to achieve – so why not come by the same effects in a 100% natural manner?


Signing off

At the end of the day, these are just a few of the many reasons why exercise is such a fantastic way to combat anxiety.

Don’t forget that exercise improves your mental health in general as well as boosting confidence and keeping your body in tip-top condition.

Ultimately, if you suffer from anxiety, exercise will make a huge difference, whether that’s in easing the symptoms, helping you cope, or curing you completely.

Give it a go and see how you get on!

If you have any questions about any of the issues raised in this blog post, I’d love to hear your thoughts, just leave me a comments below and I’ll get back to you.

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Author: Henry Croft

  • bobl07

    I just love doing an intense and vigorous swim. I am going for one today. Thanks for the tips.