A new research confirms that physical activity is an efficient method for coping with anxiety although it’s not a substitute for professional help.
A recent study found that active people have less anxiety than those who are less active. This result was especially true for people who have chronic anxiety.
The COVID-19 crisis has affected the mental and physical health of many people around the world in a negative way. Studies have shown that depression and anxiety levels began to rise after August 2020, when the pandemic occurred. These symptoms slowly decreased until June 2021, but still remained higher than before COVID-19 occurred.
The Covid-19 influenza is creating a marked rise in mental health issues.
There are many physical activities that can reduce anxiety
While a real threat may exist, many times people will have an irrational fear of danger. These feelings may manifest in a variety of forms and degrees and are often accompanied by unpleasant physical symptoms.
Anxiety can even hinder the thought processes and cause difficulties in concentration and processing of information. When anxiety is felt intensely over a long period. This phenomenon is so prevalent (up to one-third), that the National Institute of Mental Health notes its prevalence in adolescents, adults, and others who will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime or at some point that disrupts their daily life.
Those suffering from anxiety are typically referred to psychological treatment; however, many people do not seek help. Furthermore, some with anxiety do not respond to medication.
Anxiety is a natural response of the body but can disrupt daily life when experienced at a high level for prolonged periods of time. Good Studio, Shutterstock
Numerous studies in the past few years have shown that physical activity can improve mood and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, there are also some limitations to these studies due to a lack of uniformity for questionnaire analysis and self-reporting by patients.
A recent study found that the more intense the physical activity, the lower the anxiety symptoms.
The study followed 286 patients with anxiety disorders, under psychiatric treatment. About half of the participants suffered from anxiety episodes over a prolonged period of at least ten years and nearly two-thirds used at least one anxiolytic drug. The patients were randomly divided into three groups: One that served as the control group performed no physical exercise. The other groups underwent an hour-long group workout three times a week for three months, guided by a physiotherapist.
After the 12-week study of people with anxiety and depression, it was found that those who had a moderate, heart-rate ranged workout displayed an improved (decreased) state of anxiety and depression, whereas those who underwent strenuously, heart-rate ranged workouts did not.
The exercise lowered anxiety in the participants and decreased symptoms of depression. The intensity did not make a difference in symptom severity but showed an improvement in those with moderately high levels of anxiety. However, even patients who had low intensities saw an improvement in their symptoms.
The limitations of the study include that it relies on self-assessment, which may be an overestimation or underestimation of levels. It is also possible that the attention received from physiotherapists and other group members, as well as the very existence of social interaction. There may be anxiolytics that could have affected the results.
One study showed that 3 months of physical activity can help people with anxiety disorders. Physical activity should be recommended for these patients.
Physical activity can lead to a number of benefits, including those involving anxiety. It is accessible, there are almost no side effects, and it’s inexpensive. Physical activity can be helpful in cases of mild anxiety or with other treatments such as those accepted in more serious cases of anxiety. So if you’re going through a difficult time or have an experience with anxiety, don’t hesitate – to go outside for a walk or short run and visit fitness centers.
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Effective physical activity for reducing anxiety