Physical Activity and Anxiety Disorder – Is There a Connection? 5 tips for staying physically active
Physical Activity and Anxiety Disorder – Is There a Connection? 5 tips for staying physically active | Photo credit: iStock images
- Simply put, anxiety is the brain’s reaction to a stressful situation.
- Anxiety is often dismissed as a natural emotion which can lead to worsening of the anxiety disorder
- Some common symptoms of anxiety disorder include sweating, tremors, hyperventilation, and restlessness
New Delhi: The human brain has its unique way of reacting to certain situations, whether they are happy, stressful or sad. Anxiety is one of the most frequently encountered emotions and is often a consequence of a brain alerted due to the emergence of a trying or unprecedented event. While it is natural to experience occasional anxiety flares, staying in a perpetual state of anxiety can be of concern as it could be a sign of anxiety disorders. The mental state which induces an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety is called anxiety disorder.
Anxiety and physical activity – The link
According to a recent to study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry entitled “Physical Activity Is Associated With Lower Long-Term Incidence of Anxiety in a Population-Based, Large-Scale Study”, it was found that the risk of developing anxiety disorders was significantly low in people who have followed a physically active lifestyle compared to those who have not. About 400,000 skiers of both sexes participated in the study. The highlights of the study are as follows:
- A 60 percent reduced risk of developing an anxiety disorder has been observed in physically active people.
- The reduced risk was found to be true for both men and women.
- No effect of performance level on reducing the risk of anxiety disorder was found in male skiers.
- The risk of developing an anxiety disorder was double in high performing skiers compared to low performing skiers.
- Results may not be absolute as other factors contribute to anxiety and its symptoms.
Hear it from the experts
The authors, Martine Svensson and Tomas Deierborg, said: “We found that the group with a more physically active lifestyle had an almost 60% lower risk of developing anxiety disorders over a follow-up period of up to 21. years. ”
“Our results suggest that the relationship between anxiety symptoms and exercise behavior may not be linear. Exercise behaviors and anxiety symptoms are likely to be affected by genetics, psychological factors and personality traits, confounding factors that were not possible to study in our cohort. Studies examining the factors behind these differences between men and women with respect to extreme exercise behaviors and how this affects the development of anxiety are needed, ”Svensson added.
Expressing the need for further studies to validate the results, the authors said: “We think this cohort of cross-country skiers is a good indicator of an active lifestyle, but there could also be a component of being more outdoors among the skiers. “
“Studies focused on specific sports may find slightly different results and magnitudes of associations, but this is likely due to other important factors that affect mental health that you cannot easily control in analyzing research, ”they added.
Tips for physical activity
Here are some effective tips that can promote physical activity:
- Involve your family and friends in your exercise routine to improve motivation, ensure a way to stay consistent, and maximize training results.
- Avoid indulging in alcohol or excessive caffeine intake as this can damage the body clock and cause the body to be in a state of perpetual fatigue.
- Try to stay away from a sedentary lifestyle, as it can become a harmful habit and lead to the development of mobility problems, weak bones and muscles, obesity and overweight.
- To avoid having an unhealthy lifestyle while staying at home, look for exercises suitable for the home such as yoga, Pilates, and low-intensity cardio.
- To stay physically active in a fun way, you can choose from the variety of outdoor sports available and play with your family and friends.
Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting a fitness program or making any changes to your diet.