Fitness Helps With Anxiety

New York, NY, is a bustling city that I love. With all the wonderful things to do, like every place in the world, there are still things that cause people anxiety. The situations that cause anxiety may be real or imagined but that doesn’t make any difference in how you feel and your body’s reaction. You feel stuck in the loop of impending doom. Getting fit can help you break that loop and start feeling good again. You’ll feel stronger and have the energy to overcome those feelings.

Studies show that exercise can help with anxiety and depression.

Therapists often provide adjunct treatment to help the patient while in treatment. For years prescription drugs were used. Today, an increasing number of therapists use exercise. Studies show that exercise works as well as many medications. The only side effects of exercise are a healthier body and more energy. Moderate exercise three to four times a week helps for several reasons.

It’s the fight or flight response.

Like the fight or flight response, exercise sends a stream of hormones to make bodily changes, like a higher heart rate, faster breathing, and dilated pupils, just like anxiety. Cortisol, the stress hormone, triggers it. Exercise stresses the body also increasing cortisol. When you exercise, you gradually increase the strength of the muscles, heart, and lungs so it requires less effort. You’re not only training the body to handle a progressively increasing effort, but you’re also training it to handle the load of cortisol, the stress hormone. It takes less effort to do the same exercise and it takes less cortisol for the same stress. That reduces the cortisol during normal situations and reduces anxiety.

Exercise makes you feel stronger and diverts your attention.

Your senses can trigger anxiety. It can be a familiar smell that makes you feel like you’re in danger even when you’re not. You don’t have to be reliving a real memory. It might be one you lived vicariously or never at all. Exercise helps divert your attention and memory. The more you exercise, the stronger and more in control you’ll feel.

  • Exercise increases circulation to the brain. The oxygen and nutrient-laden blood stimulates the production of BDNF, which regulates the neuroimmune system and is necessary for mood regulation.
  • Exercise helps you sleep better at night. When you have adequate sleep, you function better. It can stop the insomnia that a mild panic attack can cause.
  • Exercise helps improve the gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is necessary for mood regulation. Studies show that increased beneficial microbes in the gut improve emotional reactions. Exercise increases those microbes.
  • Focusing on breathing techniques often used during yoga or at the gym can help reduce the effects of an anxiety attack. If you have anxiety, depression, or other serious mental health issue, always seek the help of a therapist.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

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