Monday, 6 January 2020

Exercise your way out of anxiety

You may have recently joined a gym or local exercise class as part of your new year's resolutions. However, life often gets in the way and you will probably not be surprised to hear that many people have given up on their goals before the end of February.

What might continue to spur you on, is that losing weight, shaping up or gaining strength are not the only reasons why we should incorporate regular exercise into our daily lives. Research suggests that exercise can improve mental health and wellbeing and further studies have shown that anxiety in particular can be effectively managed in many cases with exercise.

The 'anxiety study' by Aylett, Small and Bower (2018) included both high and low intensity exercises - walking, running, treadmill training and aerobic sessions. Low intensity exercise includes less strenuous exercise such as comfortable walking or stretching. High intensity exercise was things like running, aerobics etc. Both forms of exercise were found to be beneficial for managing the symptoms of anxiety, but high intensity exercise was found to be particularly helpful.

Anxiety is a common issue that people experience and exercise is a simple, accessible way to take action while on a waiting list or in combination with therapy or other treatments. So there is another reason to grab those trainers and to keep exercising past February!

However, if you have any underlying health issues, please consult your GP first and use the expertise of the instructors at your gym to ensure that your workout helps you meet your goals without any side effects.

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