How exercise can calm anxiety
Find more yoga lessons in kx pilates dee why in order for you to get back in shape. Exercise the most under utilised anti-depressant the essential ingredient to help calm anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins a natural chemical in the body that helps us to feel good. Not only can exercise improve your mental wellbeing but it can also improve your physical health.
The benefits of exercise are great for improving your mood, controlling your weight and combating health conditions and diseases. It can also improve your learning and boost your confidence or self esteem. Just like an elite athlete hunter gathers used to get hours of exercise each day and I have certainly never heard of a caveman suffering with anxiety or depression. Not that I am saying it did ever exist but it certainly was not such a widespread problem.
Now a days we are all engaged in daily activities that keep us sitting in one place. We have exchanged the fetching, carrying, lifting, sprinting, climbing, walking and stretching our ancestors used to do, for sitting in front of the computer for hours, watching television and driving the car short distances. Even young people are not as active as they used to be and computer games are far more popular than a game of rounders would ever be!
It seems that cavemen had mastered how to calm anxiety, something we are missing in this modern day life even though our busier pace is increasing stress levels and more people are suffering with anxious disorders. Diet and exercise are both basic human needs that seem to have been greatly overlooked as a solution to calm anxiety.
So whether you prefer to calm your anxiety or improve your physical health there are exercises for everyone. Something hard and intense providing quick results or something which is more simple but just as effective. Don’t be intimidated at the beginning, if you don’t like something change it, but persevere long enough to give it a chance as you get into exercising you will be surprised by the results.
7 Ways Exercise Can Calm Anxiety
1. Gym. For some people the gym environment is boring and you may find it distasteful. For others going to the gym can be the ultimate fitness experience. It will give you a range of different ways to exercise from cardio machines, weights, swimming, sauna & steam or classes. You may even get a personal trainer if you want to focus on specific goals. However a good cardio workout can be a great stress reliever after a tough day in the office and the sauna & steam can be a great way to switch off after a hectic day.
2. Pilates is a core based exercise. It focuses on stretching and strengthening to improve flexibility, posture, balance and muscle strength. If you have an anxious mind it can be a useful way to restore balance by focusing on correct breathing techniques. If you sit down in an office all day and are focusing on a computer screen Pilates will raise your awareness of your posture, helping you to release tension in your muscles which can become too tight when overly stressed or anxious.
3. Walking or Riding can be a great outdoor exercise with no cost. It is amazing how far you can get in an hour cycling or walking. It can increase your energy and relieve your dark moods. You can even use your bike as a form of transport to get to and from work or to meet friends. Outdoor exercise is proven to improve low moods as you connect with nature and have a physical workout. If you want to increase the intensity to improve your physical fitness or calm your anxiety you can always take it up a level and run or jog.
4. TRX is a suspension training system for intense, innovative and functional training. It can be used in the gym or outside in the park. You just need to find a place you can suspend it whether it is in your home or office you can have your workout wherever you go. It is perfect if you are always travelling with your job as it is light weight and easy to carry in your suitcase. You use your own body weight as the resistance for the exercise so after a busy or stressful day of meetings, it puts you back in control as you can control the intensity of your workout.
5. A Team sport such as Football or Netball are good sports to engage with other people socially, as well as improve your physical fitness. Socialising helps combat depression and anxiety as well as promote cohesion in your office or work environment. Team sports not only offer a social aspect but you will also play with people that have different fitness levels, this can challenge your physical fitness and help you improve your fitness level.
6. Dancing is a great way to exercise as you can have fun, look sexy and improve your fitness. If you are suffering with a low self esteem and are lacking confidence. Dancing could be the perfect confidence boost to put you back in the drivers seat, helping you feel great. The coordination required in dancing also gives your brain a workout as you learn the sequences and steps.
7. Yoga Retreats. Relaxing yoga retreats are becoming more popular. As people prefer an intense dose of relaxation or holistic lifestyle packed into a week or weekend. You will eat healthy, practice yoga and visit the spa for a relaxing massage. Retreats however can be very expensive so not for everyone. However the Buddhist practice of mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and promotes relaxation and breathing techniques which are closely linked to the poses in Yoga for calming anxiety. Hence practising mindfulness can be a more accessible alternative to a retreat.
Don’t feel you must stick to the exercises that are recommended. Perhaps you have found your own form of exercise that helps you to unwind. Like walking to the coffee shop or lifting a pint in your local! Physical activity is something we were designed to do and find enjoyable so choose something that you enjoy and have FUN! You will REAP the benefits.