Alternative treatment options for anxiety: Exercise

Anxiety is a severe mental health condition that impacts an individual’s physical as well as mental well-being. With symptoms such as feelings of fear, panic and uneasiness, anxiety interferes with one’s routine life. Anxiety disorder is the most prevalent mental illness in the United States that affects 40 million adults, as per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

As per health experts, lack of physical activity is one of the major causes of development of anxiety in people, alongside personal experiences or events, family history of mental illness, physical and mental health conditions, substance abuse and others. It is said that absence of any sort of physical activity leads to the accumulation of unused energy which causes physical stress, followed by mental stress, increased levels of cortisol or the “stress hormones” that regulate the changes that occur in the body in response to challenges, and malfunctioning of the immune system.

Anxiety is often successfully treated with medications and various therapies available today. Besides clinical interventions, there are some natural ways in which people can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety to a great extent. Exercise is one of the most effective alternative treatment option in this regard. Physical movement of the body that promotes a holistic well-being of physical and mental health, exercise does not have side effects. It aids in maintaining controlled weight, improved mood and better sleep.

As part of our series “Alternative treatment options for anxiety,” we bring to you a few simple ways in which exercise can benefit an individual in dealing with anxiety.

  1. Activates body: Engaging oneself in physical exercise is a great way to cut off any chances of facing the side-effects of inactivity. Being active helps one in improving metabolism and functioning of the immune system. This stops the symptoms of anxiety from developing in an individual.
  1. Releases endorphins: Exercising reduces anxiety by releasing endorphins – the hormones that work as a painkiller in the human body. While the hormones are released to deal with the pain caused by exercise, they at the same time regulate mood and make an individual feel energized and relaxed.
  1. Improved sleep: Taking proper rest is extremely important to alleviate the anxiety symptoms. Exercising exhausts an individual completely and also raises the body temperature. Tiredness activates the sleep hormones, thereby making an individual feel sleepy. Sleeping for adequate time is a great way to deal with anxiety.
  1. Improved heart condition: Regular exercising helps an individual improve his overall fitness and this helps him curb anxiety symptoms. It strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system and makes an individual feel better.

  2. Mood booster: Physical exercise develops a sense of achievement in an individual. It makes him feel happy, proud and improves his mood. Aerobics as well as resistance training play catalyst in boosting mood.
  1. Burning cortisol: Too much of cortisol in the bloodstream causes anxiety which implies that an individual with an anxiety disorder has higher level of this hormone in his body. Exercising is an excellent way to cut down the levels of cortisol.

Fighting with anxiety

Exercising improves an individual’s confidence level, reduces tension, fatigue and helps him focus more on life. One may start with walking, stretching muscles and playing some sports in order to make exercise a part of the lifestyle. Yoga, swimming and jogging are known to have great positive effects on overall health.

Anxiety can ruin an individual’s life. Therefore, it is extremely important to treat the disorder to live life in a better way. If you know someone who is dealing with anxiety, the Anxiety Disorder Treatment Centers Arizona can help. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-425-9317 or chat online with experts to know details about the best anxiety disorder treatment Centers in Arizona or elsewhere in the U.S.

Read the other articles of the series “Alternative treatment options for anxiety”:

  1. Part 1 – Meditation
  2. Part 2 – Yoga