While exercise is known to have many positive physical effects, it can also do a lot to improve your mental and emotional health as well.
Individuals who participate in regular exercise, whether running, hiking, working with weights in the gym or putting in a session on a rowing machine or other piece of exercise equipment have reported not only feeling the physical benefits of their workout but also feeling less stressed and less anxious.
Though any form of exercise is certainly good for you, there are some that are particularly helpful when it comes to reducing anxiety and improving psychological health.
This is the most common form of exercise linked to emotional health and for good reason. The entire concept of yoga is improving the mind-body connection, through stretching and deep breathing techniques. Not only can this be helpful on an immediate basis, it can also have significant long-term effects, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and anger and promoting an enhanced sense of calm.
This ancient form of exercise from China combines martial art movements with meditative movements similar to those used in yoga. Like yoga, Tai Chi can help to improve the connection between physical and mental health, helping to promote a sense of balance and calm. The major components of Tai Chi, which include mental concentration, physical balance, muscle relaxation and relaxed breathing are all extremely calming and can go a long way toward relieving stress and reducing anxiety.
This is an old exercise standby and it can be a go to type of workout for those looking to improve both their physical and emotional health. The connection to relieving anxiety is not difficult to make, as the act of running helps to stimulate the production of endorphins in the body. These neurotransmitters are responsible for producing a feeling of well-being, which can be extremely helpful in battling anxiety and depression.
Not everybody is capable of running, but most people can walk for exercise. Regular 30 minute walks have been proven to reduce anxiety and stress and enhance your health, as well. You can walk almost anywhere, but you can also find good walking locations in city parks and state parks. The latter often have easy walking trails in a surrounding of nature, which will reduce your stress and promote a feeling of peace and balance.
Another form of movement that can also stimulate the release of endorphins, hiking may be every bit as effective as running when it comes to relieving stress. The added benefit here is getting out and connecting with nature, which can be extremely beneficial in terms of releasing stress and improving your mood. It can help just to change your surroundings and get your mind off of your everyday problems. Even better is when you can share that hike with a companion and increase your sense of well being even more.
While most people associate this form of exercise with building muscle, it can also do a lot to improve your emotional health. The benefit here comes from increasing your sense of self worth as you begin to notice the physical effects of your workouts. You’ll see your confidence increase as you not only feel better about yourself but also gain a sense of satisfaction as you rack up positive results. And if you’re feeling better and expending excess energy, you may even be able to sleep better, which can also go a long way toward reducing anxiety.
People don’t tend to think of dance as an exercise, but it can have many physical benefits as it helps to workout muscles, get zyour heart pumping and even help you to shed excess weight. At the same time, it can help to improve your emotional health by giving you a sense of accomplishment as well as just providing you with the ability to let loose and have some fun. And because dance can be such a wonderful form of self-expression, it can help you to get in touch with your feelings and let them out in a creative and therapeutic manner. Plus, if you’re doing something you love, you’re more likely to stick with it!
Of course, there is no guarantee that exercise alone will help you to overcome the effects of anxiety, but it can be a wonderful addition to any treatment approach. Because it has so many positive benefits, there is almost no downside to incorporating exercise into your daily routine. If you want to start feeling less stressed and less anxious, than why not get up and get moving and find out just what regular exercise can do for you.
Scott Murphy is a writer who loves to write articles on various topics such as health, fitness, exercise etc. He has the passion for the sport over 20 years. He is a regular contributor to allrowers.com, a site offering reviews, workouts, industry news and education about the benefits of rowing and regular exercise.