• Linsey Book

Anxiety and Exercise

There is one thing I want to not only talk about, but something I need to get back into. Exercise. In all honesty, I am not big on exercise of any sort. BUT I have heard that it does help with depression and anxiety. This being said, I will probably soon get back into going to the gym again. At first, going to the gym can feel a chore, at least for me. But when you get into the swing of things, you will notice that it helps.

Mental health professionals often prescribe exercise as part of the treatment for specific mental illnesses. Exercise can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can be a way to get rid of your pent up tension and emotions. And this is what I mean when I say it helps. All that pent up anxiety or stress finally has a great outlet. Exercise does decrease stress hormones. Sooner or later the anxiety will melt away. Pair that with listening to music and going to the gym can actually be enjoyable.

Physical activity can distract you from negative thoughts and emotions. It can take your mind off of your problems and even put you into a zen-like state. Better physical health can create better mental health. Improving your overall health can save you a great deal of stress.

I’m trying not to ramble, but sometimes I can’t help it. So moving on.

There are different types of exercise you can try, and you don’t exactly have to always go to the gym. Yoga for instance. Yoga can lower heart rate and blood pressure. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety as well as increase energy and feelings of well-being. Tai Chi (an ancient Chinese martial art that combines meditation and rhythmic breathing in a slow series of graceful body movements and poses) can help in a similar way. It can reduce stress and improve depressed moods.

Like I said, I am planning on going back to the gym for my exercise. And speaking of planning, why don’t we start an exercise plan together?

Here are some tips I found on the interwebs.

First of all, start slow and progress just as slowly. Don’t overdo it!! Try not to push yourself to extremes when just starting out. Exercise can be fun and help improve anxiety, but should NEVER cause physical pain.

Make a commitment to your exercise plan. Stay patient and consistent. Like I said, it can feel like a chore at first. It will take time to see improvement in panic symptoms. Know that your motivation may change at different stages of your exercise plan. It is pretty common for your enthusiasm to fade over time. Don’t let that stop you from continuing on. That spark can and will return.

Keep experimenting! Experiment with different strategies to find what works best for you. If you struggle to stick with a morning routine, change it to and afternoon. If you dread going to the gym, try exercising outside. Go for a thirty-minute walk in the park. Keep experimenting until you find what you are likely to stick to. Here’s an example, I hate working out in the morning. Personally, I don’t do mornings. So I usually hit the gym in the noon to afternoon times. I like to wake up a bit THEN go exercise. I also like to leave some time between gym time and work for some woosah time. You know what I mean by that, I know it.

So I’m doing my best to try not be a hypocrite. I haven’t gone to the gym in months. HOWEVER! I will be starting back to doing that again shortly. Don’t yell at me quite yet. I will be keeping in mind all the tips I found on the internet while I create a plan for myself,

I hope this has all been somewhat helpful.

Until next time, Namaste


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