I talk a lot about the physical benefits of exercise. But in addition to getting ripped and losing weight, there’s one other benefit to exercise that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Straight to the point, exercise also reduces stress, improves feelings of wellbeing, and fights anxiety.
Combined with the physical benefits, who wouldn’t want to live a fit and active lifestyle? This article looks more closely at the important (and potentially life-changing) associations between exercise and anxiety.
The Low-Down on Exercise and Anxiety
Let’s face it, we all live in a stressful world, and it only seems to be getting more hectic as time passes. That’s why it’s more important than ever to fight stress and reduce anxiety – so you can live your best life!
Exercise is one of the best options for coping with our anxiety-inducing lives. On a physiological level, exercise helps to lower your blood pressure (high blood pressure results from too much stress) and support your immune system. It also releases anxiety-busting chemicals like norepinephrine, which is a great way to combat anxiety and depression.
The research is pretty clear on the issue. A recent report from the American Psychological Association noted that years of scientific research have shown that active people have significantly lower rates of anxiety compared to people who lives less active or sedentary lifestyles.
So what’s really happening behind the scenes? Scientists claim that it’s a lot more than just the release of stress-fighting chemicals or the lowering of blood pressure. It seems that exercise actually better prepares your body for stressful encounters in the future, by helping the physiological systems involved in stress communicate better and mount a more effective response.
On a behavioral level, exercise also promotes healthier behaviors. By reducing the stress and anxiety in your life, you’re less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like drinking and binge eating, which can completely throw off your dieting and weigh loss efforts. Combined with the increased levels of cortisol resulting from stress (which contribute to obesity over time), you can see how important this matter is. Stress really can make you fat!
And on a social level, exercising and working out also appear to make you a more pleasant person to others. A recent study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology revealed that work stress is significantly reduced by exercise. Bosses and managers received particularly strong benefits from exercising more, making them easier to deal with among their employees.
The Anxiety-Busting Exercise Plan
So if you’re not already exercising and are looking to reduce your anxiety, here’s the plan:
First, I want you to be doing at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 4-5 days a week. This will have a huge impact on your stress and anxiety levels and improve your overall mood. But in addition to this, I also want you to get in at least 3 days of resistance training, even if it’s only 20 minutes a day. It will help increase your metabolism, which will make you less stressed out about your weight loss efforts, and it will make you happier with your overall appearance by making you look more lean and toned.
Some other great tools for your anxiety-busting tool box include a multi-vitamin to help reduce stress, like Optimum Opti-Men and Optimum Opti-Women, and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement like AllMax Nutrition Omega 3, to support healthy brain functioning. Combined with regular exercise, you’ll be feeling more relaxed in no time!
Have any questions or feedback about exercise and anxiety? Please leave a comment below…