We all know exercise is good for weight loss, blood pressure, and stronger bones, but many people also use exercise for anxiety management. So, if you find yourself feeling a bit more centered and even happier after your daily sweat sesh, there’s science to back up why.
Experts have found that getting our heart rate up with exercise actually changes the chemistry in our brain (in a good way!) It increases things like serotonin, GABA, and endocannabinoids — these are super fancy names but important neurotransmitters when it comes to helping bust those feelings of anxiety. This proves that using exercise for anxiety in addition to a practice to support our physical health is a powerful tool that benefits the mind and body.
And, while there’s no one-size-fits-all for when it comes to what exercise works best, we’re sharing three types of exercise for anxiety to help you start reaping the physical as well as mental benefits exercise brings to the table.
You may be one workout away from feeling calmer!
Use The Power of Exercise For Anxiety With These 3 Research-Backed Workouts
#1 Hatha Yoga
It’s no surprise that yoga finds its way on the list of how to use the power of exercise for anxiety. And if you’ve ever wondered why yogis seem so chill, studies show that hatha yoga can greatly benefit those with anxiety, in conjunction with other helpful practices. This may be because yoga includes several breathing techniques and exercises that help center you, ease stress and help you relax.
Try one of FitOn’s wide selection of yoga classes to begin your anxiety-blasting practice today!
#2 Hiking in Nature
Hiking is great for building stronger muscles, improving heart health, and getting super cute nature selfies. But the benefits go far beyond supporting physical health. Hiking in a natural environment has been shown to boost mood (more so than hiking in an urban environment). This is thanks to the profound restorative effect nature has on our overall sense of wellbeing. Find a trail through the woods, mountains, or even a beach path!
#3 Strength Training
Unleash that inner strength and make the most of exercise for anxiety by adding some strength training to your workout routine. Research shows that strength training not only helps with increasing muscle mass and flexibility, but it may also help reduce feelings of anxiety, too.
Follow along with FitOn’s strength training programs to help bust stress, while helping you feel strong and lean.
Here are some strength classes to get you started:
- Full Body Strength with Breann Mitchell
- Functional Full Body with Caroline Pierce
- Total Body Training with Kenta Seiki
Need some equipment-free options? Here are some just as effective strength training workouts to try:
Exercise is a key ingredient in overall health and happiness. While these three forms of exercise are highly effective, the best form of exercise for anxiety and to help bust those feelings of stress is one you actually enjoy. We want our daily workout to be something we look forward to, not something we dread! If we enjoy it, there’s a better chance we’ll stick with it.
Remember: exercise should be fun, so find the right way to move that works for you, and chances are, it will be that daily dose of self-care that may be exactly what you need to feel a bit more centered.
Note: Always speak with your health care provider about any questions or concerns you have about anxiety. No one should go it alone!