Exercise and Anxiety

Most of us have experienced anxiety at some point in our life. Stress from work or school; worries about finances, personal relationships and all the other stressors life offers is a normal part of living and when well-managed, can motivate us to do our best. But when stress is out of balance and becomes overwhelming we can suffer physically and mentally. Anxiety may present as nervousness, increased heart rate, sweating, difficulty breathing, and may even result in panic attacks.

We experience anxiety when our endocrine system is being overly stimulated. This can be caused by life events, specific thought patterns, or even by food and drinks we consume like caffeine and sugar. Our body over-produces a hormone called cortisol and it can perpetuate and build the longer we remain in this state of mind.

When you feel those symptoms of anxiousness start to develop, one way to help control them is to divert your train of thought by participating in activities. Staying busy helps us move our focus off of what we are stressing about.

Once we’re out of the acute stage of anxiety, exercise can benefit both our physical and mental health. Staying active helps our endocrine system to produce more endorphins, which are “feel good” chemicals produced by the pituitary gland. Going on a walk, run, hike, bike ride, or any other activity you enjoy helps encourage this internal response.

Massage therapy has also been proven to help reduce anxiety. Even just having a quiet room to yourself and being able to relax in a controlled atmosphere helps to reduce stress hormones and puts the body in a state of relaxation. It helps a person feel calmer and more able to cope with everyday stresses.

We all aspire for good habits that support our bodies in staying healthy and calm. But life has a way of throwing all of us off our “A game” from time to time. Though we agree with Ben Franklin that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, if you need a reset to get you back on track — we’ve got you.

Stay well, stay healthy, stay moving, and we hope to see you soon.
All of us at Loosen Up!