Exercise Therapy for Anxiety: The Benefits of Getting Your Body Moving


A recent study by researchers at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon found that just 20 minutes of exercise per day can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms in people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Furthermore, the effects lasted for at least one month after the initial exercise regimen ended. While there are many methods of reducing anxiety, this has to be one of the easiest and most accessible forms of therapy out there. 

How Do I Start Exercising When I’m Anxious?

When you’re feeling anxious, it can be hard to get out of bed, let alone get your body moving. Anxiousness is one symptom that can arise from a variety of mental health conditions including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder and depression. 

Exercise therapy is one way to help manage symptoms and help improve quality of life. While there are a number of benefits to exercise therapy, one study by Adam Chambers, Ph.D., and his colleagues at Duke University found exercise therapy to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms in adults with SAD. It may also reduce symptoms in adults with GAD or those with other types of anxiety disorders.

What Are Some Low-Cost Ways To Get Started?

Unlike traditional methods to help you overcome anxiety, exercise therapy is free. There are several great ways to get started. You can find a class or fitness instructor who specializes in helping people deal with anxiety issues or look into starting your own. 

You could join a team that promotes an active lifestyle and offers competitive events—which also encourages socialization. While most athletes won’t be able to tell you if there’s any difference between exercising with higher levels of anxiety and not, many will say there’s something about being physically active that just makes them feel better (and feeling better is key to overcoming mental health issues). 

Finally, get up and do something right now!

You can also consider trying out Exerpy. Exerpy stands for exercise therapy, and we use it to help our clients deal with their mental health struggles. The benefits of exercise therapy on anxiety are countless, and many people experience short and long-term relief from their symptoms.

How Long Will It Take Before I See Results?

When you’re starting an exercise program, it can be a bit intimidating to realize that there’s no instant gratification, at least on the physical side of things. 

But on the mental side of things, levels of anxiety and depression almost see immediate relief. If you’re starting an exercise program for the physical and aesthetic benefits, you might want to tone up in two weeks and see results in four months. That isn’t going to happen. It takes real time to see progress, but if you stick with it, exercise therapy will do wonders for your mental health and overall well-being. 

Suppose you start off slowly with a few minutes of light activity every day, build yourself up over time, and establish good habits. In that case, physical well-being is just one small benefit you’ll gain from regular movement.

How Does This Affect My Mood?

exercise therapy for anxiety

Stress and anxiety are often correlated, which means that stress can lead to increased feelings of anxiety, which in turn can cause your body to create a stressful response. That’s why it’s important to manage both stress and anxiety (yes, you can do both at once!). 

Exercise is known to be a great way to relieve stress and manage your mood—not only is it good for your mental health but you’ll also burn calories while doing so! So get moving! Exercising three or four times a week will help reduce overall levels of tension in your body and mind.

Exercise therapy can help reduce your stress levels and manage any anxiety you may have by causing your body to release a number of feel-good hormones—these are chemicals in your brain that make you feel relaxed, peaceful, and energized. 

One such chemical is endorphins, which will help relax your mind and calm any anxious feelings you may be experiencing. However, it can take time for these effects to kick in, so give yourself at least 10 minutes a day before you start feeling calmer. 

Try taking small steps towards improving your mental health by getting more exercise on a daily basis. For example, walk instead of drive or take an exercise class with friends—any movement is better than none!

Final Thoughts

Starting any type of exercise program isn’t easy. It takes motivation and a lot of work, and when you’re struggling with anxiety and other mental health concerns, it can be even more difficult to get started. That’s why we started Exerpy. We know exactly what it feels like to experience gut-wrenching anxiety and depression that has you not wanting to do anything.

Consider reaching out to us today to get your healing journey started.

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Quinn is a professional, multi-faceted writer with a background and professional knowledge base that spans many industries. He goes above and beyond in everything he does and has an attitude and mindset of perseverance and dedication.

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