Anxiety is a natural feeling that often comes and goes and is common among many individuals. Yet, some people are pained with constant, overwhelming anxiety. If you fit into either category, then you may want to look into a functional medicine doctor, like our team at Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island. Once you’ve spoken to a doctor, you can make a decision that is right for you, whether that be medication, therapy, or just staying active. Exercise relieves anxiety well on its own but works even better with medication and therapy.
How Exactly Does Exercise Calm Anxiety?
While this is a question physicians have been asking themselves for ages, there are some well-educated guesses on how exercise is linked to the relief of anxiety and depression.
Endorphins are a feel-good hormone in your brain that releases when you do things you love, like watching TV or eating food, which can make your brain think those are the only things that make you happy. Yet it has been shown that exercising or increasing your physical activity also makes your brain release endorphins, giving your brain a sensation of happiness. While watching TV or eating food can make you feel relieved, exercise is one of the healthiest known coping mechanisms when it comes to acute anxiety and depression.
Exercise also allows you to ground yourself and focus on your movements instead of focusing on all the negative thoughts that have built up. Concentrating on counting your reps in the gym will keep your brain in the present state of mind, thus preventing you from worrying about the past or present. Exercise can also make you feel more confident and helps create an opportunity for social interactions.
What Exercises Will Help?
Any type of physical activity that gets your heart pumping will help relieve your anxiety. A ten-minute walk, washing the car, yoga, or a full gym session can all help release endorphins to relieve your mind. Yoga, linked with meditation, has been known to relieve the mind and body of stress, as well as running and biking. While long physical activities, like an hour of running or an hour at the gym, may make more of a difference, even a short walk around the block will ground your mind and help you focus on the present. If you are unsure of what exercises work best, a functional medicine doctor will be able to help you create an exercise plan.
Functional Medicine Doctor :
It can be difficult to tackle your anxiety head first, but consulting with a functional medicine doctor is the first step in taking hold of your anxiety. While exercise helps relieve anxiety considerably, it likely will not cure it altogether. It’s important to remember that you have other options available to help relieve your stress. Our team at Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island will create a plan, just for you, to relieve your anxiety, while making you feel at home in our offices. We also have a Stress Resilience program that will help you combat stress when you are faced with it head-on. Contact us today to learn about our programs!