Can Exercise Play a Role in Managing and Reducing Anxiety? March 12, 2021 – Posted in: Lifestyle – Tags: , , ,

Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric disorders in the world. An estimated 40 million adults age 18 and over in the United States are affected by these disorders every year. These disorders can interfere in your life, causing damage to jobs and relationships, as well as bringing about other mental health problems. So, it’s easy to see why people go to great lengths to manage their anxiety on a daily basis.

Living in today’s society, with the news constantly telling you what’s wrong with the world, it’s easy to develop a near-constant state of anxiety. When feeling anxious, it can be a Herculean task to get up and do anything physical. This is ironic because exercise may be one of the most effective non-medical methods of reducing anxiety. Research shows that physical activity does wonders for the brain. A simple walk, a dance class, or a bike ride can help you break free from the stress of news-induced anxiety, among many other things.

How Can Exercise Reduce Anxiety?

There are many benefits to regular exercise, and a lot of them are either directly or indirectly related to reducing anxiety. Some of these benefits include:

  • Decreasing muscle tension, which limits the body’s physical contributions to anxiety.
  • Releasing endorphins, a chemical in your brain that can help reduce pain and promote feelings of well-being.
  • Increases the amount of serotonin in your body, which helps regulate both your mood and the amount of sleep you get.
  • Activates the endocannabinoid system, which can help stabilize your mood.
  • Activates the frontal region of the brain and controls the amygdala, which is responsible for processing the responses to fear.
  • Releases anandamides, a naturally formed cannabinoid molecule that promotes feelings of bliss and maintains the balance of your endocrine organs.
  • Gives you something to focus on other than your stressors.

What Kind of Exercise?

Fortunately, the type of exercise isn’t important. Studies have shown that people experience improvement in their anxiety symptoms due to many exercises ranging from tai chi to interval training. The important part is to remain consistent. Four ways to maximize the anxiety-reducing benefits of regular exercise are:

  1. Choose an activity or exercise that you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t do it as well or for as long as you need to. Also, if you have to slog through an exercise, that will only increase feelings of anxiety.
  2. Focus on getting your heart rate up. Increased blood flow and cardiac activity are the keys to improved brain function. It also ensures that all of those wonderful released endorphins and anandamides can circulate effectively through your bloodstream.
  3. Exercise with a friend or partner. Doing this will help you reap the benefits of social activity as a stress reliever. Having the support of another person can also help push you through an exercise.
  4. If possible, exercise outside in an outdoor space. Studies show that being in nature can further help lower stress. So go out and enjoy that fresh air while working up a sweat!

Conclusion

No matter what kind of exercise you do, you’ll see the benefit of reduced stress and anxiety quickly. In fact, exercise is almost as good as our CBD products for managing stress and anxiety, promoting healthy sleep patterns, and supporting essential functions within the body. At Function Botanicals, we use the best ingredients to bring you the best-in-class botanical products. For more information, or to place an order with us here today!