We all know that exercise can give us a boost and even make us feel happier, but did you know that incorporating exercise can reduce anxiety symptoms as well? Exercise releases chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins which help minimize discomfort from pain as well as contribute to a general feeling of well-being. Physical activity is linked to a decrease in anxiety and depression symptoms as a lack of serotonin is associated with the conditions.
While exercises such as yoga can be meditative and help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lower the heart rate, fast-paced aerobics are the most beneficial when it comes to releasing endorphins and serotonin. Regular exercise also improves the ability to cope with stress and has been observed to improve self-esteem and body image.
Not only can exercise have a positive effect on depression and anxiety symptoms, it can help with other mental and physical processes. Regular exercise can also have a positive influence on ADHD, stress relief, sleep, memory, and even help individuals feel more energetic throughout the day. Regular exercise can even help decrease the stress response of PTSD patients. Exercise promotes changes in the brain such as neural development and has even been noted to reduce inflammation. Even if you are unable to consistently exercise in during the week, squeezing in one to two sessions during the weekend can provide almost as many benefits as those who work out more often.
Looking to see how best to safely incorporate more physical activity in your routine? Make an appointment with your primary care provider.