We asked our Exercise Physiologist, Sarah, about how exercise can help with anxiety, and how to combat the feelings of anxiety that exercise can bring. Sarah has some great tips for us!
Life happens and you’re experiencing anxiety, you seek help and are told exercise (amongst other things) can help with your anxiety symptoms. Problem is, the thought of exercise also brings on the feelings of anxiety. What are you supposed to do now?
Persistent muscle tension, a clenched jaw, tight neck and shoulders and headaches are common symptoms of anxiety. Hard to be motivated to exercise feeling like this! While it may feel counterintuitive to exercise, studies have shown that physical activity can help ease the tension throughout your body. It’s just about finding what works for you.
What Can You Do?
Check-in with yourself each day, are you breathing? Try 3-4-5 breathing, in for 3 seconds, hold for 4, out for 5 seconds. Repeat this for a minute or two a few times a day.
Now start simple, try a daily 5 min walk, down the road or up and down your hallway.
What about 10 sit to stands from a chair or squats?
Step up and down the steps at the back door every time you come in from hanging up the washing.
Something is better than nothing!
Ask For Help
And finally, ask for help when you need it, your family, friends, or a health provider.
What works for you?