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How Fitness Can Help You BEAT Anxiety

At times the overwhelming sensation of anxiety can make us feel trapped afraid and plain down overwhelmed. It can be a claustrophobic space that can prevent us from living out our BEST life! A life filled with peace, purpose and joy! Isn’t that what we all want?

But, I get it; life is not always serene waters. Daily, each of us battle through our own silent struggles. Learning to self-care, self-soothe and be gentle with oneself all help in keeping anxiety at bay!

Psychiatrists have reported the positive effects that exercise has on the brain. A simple, walk or bike ride can be a powerful tool for those suffering from anxiety.

How Does Exercise Help Sooth Anxiety?    

  • Engaging in exercise distracts you from the very thing you are anxious about.
  • Moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious.
  • Getting your heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and endocannabinoids.
  • Exercise activates frontal regions of the brain responsible for executive function, which helps control the amygdala, our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival.
  • Exercising regularly builds up resources that bolster resilience against stormy emotions.

Reference: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-exercise-help-treat-anxiety-2019102418096

Top Training Tips:

  • Choose something enjoyable and that you like doing, so you will do it repeatedly, building resilience.
  • Work toward getting your heart rate up.
  • Work out with a friend or colleague or in a group to reap the additional benefit of social support.
  • Try to exercise in nature or green space, which further lowers stress and anxiety.

While research is important, we all know that GREAT feeling we experience after a good workout!

Remember how you felt and use that as motivation to do something physical every day. Time to get up and get moving and stay POSITIVE!

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