Exercise Helpful for Anxiety and Depression

You are probably aware that exercise has many health benefits. Regular exercise can not only improve your physical health, but it is also beneficial for patients struggling with depression and anxiety.

A 10/23/07 article from Mayo Clinic discusses ways that symptoms of depression and anxiety can be alleviated with regular exercise.

First, the article states, exercise gives you a boost of confidence by making you feel "a sense of accomplishment." Since exercise is a challenge, when you succeed in meeting the challenge, your self-confidence will improve. Also, you may feel better about your appearance.

Second, exercise can be a good distraction from thinking about your circumstances. Concentrating on the act of exercise or on your environment or music during exercise can take your mind off of your worries or unpleasant mood.

A third psychological benefit of exercise is reduced isolation. Exercise increases social interaction with others wherever you may be exercising and make you feel less alone, even if it is by simply acknowledging someone else in your exercise environment.

Lastly, the article states that exercise is an act of "doing something positive" to cope with your symptoms of anxiety or depression. It is an act of coping in a healthy way, as opposed to increased drinking or obsessing on your feelings.

As always, consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise regime to determine your fitness level and assess what types of exercises may be right for you.

We wish you success in your pursuit of good health!


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