A consistent practice of physical exercise will help you to manage and reduce levels of Stress and Anxiety. Exercise provides a natural biological release of the adrenaline that accompanies Stress and Anxiety. Physical exercise also relaxes muscle tension and initiates production of endorphins in the brain, generating a sense of OK-ness. Research has shown that consistent, moderate (20 to 30 minutes) aerobic exercise helps to decrease some of the chemical imbalances associated with higher levels of stress and anxiety.
To take advantage of the Stress and Anxiety reducing effects of exercise, it is best to do a robic exercise three to four times per week for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Aerobic exercises include brisk walking, running, aerobic dancing, bicycling, swimming, jumping rope, using a treadmill or a stepper, and ice or roller skating. It is important to both break a sweat and raise your heartbeat for the above length of time. If you haven’t done any type of exercise in a while, you may want to begin with walking for only very short periods from (5 to 10 minutes) and build up your time slowly.
Here are some helpful hints:
- Begin exercising slowly. Start out by spending only 5 to 10 minutes every other day for the first week. Add 5 minutes to your workout time each successive week until you reach 30 minutes. Doing too much too fast causes the greatest exercise at attrition rate.
- Expect some initial discomfort such as aches and pains when you start out. These will disappear as you gain improved physical condition allowing your body to recover sufficiently.
- Warm up before exercising by doing some very light stretches, sit ups, and/or push-ups to get the blood flowing to your muscles. When you’re finished with more vigorous aerobic exercise, cool down by walking for 2 or 3 minutes and do some heavier stretches.
- Make a commitment to an exercise practice for a minimum of 30 days and then re-evaluate. You may find exercise to be sufficiently rewarding so that you will choose to continue.
- Quit exercising right away if you experience any sudden, unexplainable body pains or other symptoms. If you go too long with pain, it will prevent you from exercising for a longer time than if you stop and wait to recover.