Exercise best for anxiety: Best Exercise for Anxiety
Does Exercise Help with Anxiety?
Yes, exercise can help with symptoms of anxiety. Overwhelming stress and persistent negative thoughts contribute to feelings of anxiety. Rumination, which involves constant overthinking about unknown events or scenarios, is also a primary symptom of anxiety.
As rumination and anxiety become consistent parts of someone’s thought process, that person can develop an anxiety disorder. The formation of this type of mental condition can occur genetically or through life experiences. Chemical imbalances cause anxiety and these disparities can result in worsening moods and depressive states.
Exercising can counter the chemical imbalance by producing endorphins, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Endorphins interact with receptors in the brain and create a euphoric high. The endorphins produced through exercise provide temporary relief from mental struggles.
Not only does physical activity release stress and produce endorphins, but it also increases a person’s self-confidence. Completing workouts results in feelings of accomplishment and improved physical appearance, both of which can also boost a person’s mood and distract them from negative thoughts.
There are other benefits to regular exercise. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function.”
Article at a Glance:
- Exercise can be a healthy coping mechanism for symptoms of anxiety Exercise is a healthy way to diminish the effects of anxiety.
- Exercising produces endorphins that create a “feel good” effect
- There is no one best form of exercise for anxiety. Individuals should find a type of physical activity they enjoy
Exercise Regimens to Relieve Anxiety Symptoms
Currently, there is no best form of exercise for depression and anxiety symptoms. Each person responds differently to various activities.
Some people may receive greater mental boosts from cardiovascular workouts. Others will benefit more from weightlifting or prefer team sports. People wishing to utilize exercise for stress and anxiety reduction should experiment with their workout schedule to find the most effective strategy.
If you do not have an exercise regimen or want to overhaul your current approach, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) website lists anxiety-reducing tips for each type of workout.
Cardiovascular Exercise and Anxiety
According to researchers at Harvard University, regular aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, dancing) decreases the levels of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Daily physical activity also helps people fall asleep at regular times and achieve more restful sleep, which causes decreased stress. Exercise also combats negative thoughts and emotions by improving physical appearance and health.
“As your waistline shrinks and your strength and stamina increase, your self-image will improve,” the Harvard University website states. “You’ll earn a sense of mastery and control, of pride and self-confidence. Your renewed vigor and energy will help you succeed in many tasks, and the discipline of regular exercise will help you achieve other important lifestyle goals.”
The ADAA recommends performing a cardio activity three to five times per week for at least 30 minutes. Doing so consistently decreases stress and prevents multi-day anxiety buildups.
For individuals who get anxious or overwhelmed thinking about beginning an exercise routine for the first time: Cardio workouts require the least structure and planning. People can jog or bicycle with another person or on their own. Additionally, cardio routines there isn’t a need for a crowded gym unless running indoors is the only option. Aerobic exercise can be done indoors or outdoors and in any specific setting, such as a trail, neighborhood or gym, which makes cardio routines more accommodating than other forms of fitness that require a specific location.
Weightlifting and Anxiety
Not everyone enjoys cardio workouts, and people should prioritize doing enjoyable activities rather than forcing themselves into routines they dislike. Preventing fitness from feeling like a chore helps people maintain consistent daily activity.
For some, weightlifting is the preferred workout, and it can diminish anxiousness and depression. The primary reward is muscle gain, which helps people’s self-confidence. However, weightlifting exerts the same stress hormones as jogging and produces the same mood-boosting chemical, endorphin. So, people who choose to lift weights instead of jogging are not missing out on any chemical benefits.
The ADAA suggests focusing on daily physical activity, even in small amounts, rather than one or two long weekly workouts. That means five or six trips to the gym each week for 30 minutes to an hour rather than packing everything into less-frequent, two- or three-hour sessions. While the physical benefits might be the same, daily exercise results in consistent endorphin production and stress exertion rather than allowing a buildup of anxiousness throughout the week.
Team-Sports Exercise and Anxiety
Individual or small-group exercises like cardio and weightlifting may work for some but not for others. Different personality types may crave more engaging and interactive activities, such as team sports. Joining a softball league or playing pickup basketball with friends can exert energy, reduce stress, release endorphins, improve physical health and appease a necessity for social interaction.
People that have a mental condition associated with how others perceive them — such as social anxiety — may desire interaction to diminish the effects of their anxiety. Even an activity as simple as playing football and being part of a team-oriented recreation or competition can subside loneliness and other negative emotions.
If you live with an anxiety disorder, consider adding physical activity to your schedule. A revamped, healthier lifestyle can bring numerous health benefits and decrease your stress levels.
If you struggle with anxiety disorder and use drugs or alcohol to cope, The Recovery Village can help. Call 352.771.2700 today to speak to one of our intake coordinators to discuss treatment options.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
exercise & fitness
You already know that exercise is good for your body. But did you know it can also boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and more?
What are the mental health benefits of exercise?
Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity and muscle size. Sure, exercise can improve your physical health and your physique, trim your waistline, improve your sex life, and even add years to your life. But that’s not what motivates most people to stay active.
People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them an enormous sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it’s also a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges.
Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a real difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with mental health problems, improve your energy and outlook, and get more out of life.
Exercise and depression
Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication—but without the side-effects, of course. As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.
Exercise is a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Most importantly, it promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good. Finally, exercise can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.
Exercise and anxiety
Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. Anything that gets you moving can help, but you’ll get a bigger benefit if you pay attention instead of zoning out.
Try to notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the wind on your skin. By adding this mindfulness element—really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise—you’ll not only improve your physical condition faster, but you may also be able to interrupt the flow of constant worries running through your head.
Exercise and stress
Ever noticed how your body feels when you’re under stress? Your muscles may be tense, especially in your face, neck, and shoulders, leaving you with back or neck pain, or painful headaches. You may feel a tightness in your chest, a pounding pulse, or muscle cramps. You may also experience problems such as insomnia, heartburn, stomachache, diarrhea, or frequent urination. The worry and discomfort of all these physical symptoms can in turn lead to even more stress, creating a vicious cycle between your mind and body.
Exercising is an effective way to break this cycle. As well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so, too, will your mind.
Exercise and ADHD
Exercising regularly is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD and improve concentration, motivation, memory, and mood. Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. In this way, exercise works in much the same way as ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall.
Exercise and PTSD and trauma
Evidence suggests that by really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise, you can actually help your nervous system become “unstuck” and begin to move out of the immobilization stress response that characterizes PTSD or trauma. Instead of allowing your mind to wander, pay close attention to the physical sensations in your joints and muscles, even your insides as your body moves. Exercises that involve cross movement and that engage both arms and legs—such as walking (especially in sand), running, swimming, weight training, or dancing—are some of your best choices.
Outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing (downhill and cross-country) have also been shown to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.
Other mental health benefits of exercise
Even if you’re not suffering from a mental health problem, regular physical activity can still offer a welcome boost to your mood, outlook, and mental well-being.
Exercise can help provide:
Sharper memory and thinking. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
Higher self-esteem. Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful. You’ll feel better about your appearance and, by meeting even small exercise goals, you’ll feel a sense of achievement.
Better sleep. Even short bursts of exercise in the morning or afternoon can help regulate your sleep patterns. If you prefer to exercise at night, relaxing exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching can help promote sleep.
More energy. Increasing your heart rate several times a week will give you more get-up-and-go. Start off with just a few minutes of exercise per day, and increase your workout as you feel more energized.
Stronger resilience. When faced with mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help you build resilience and cope in a healthy way, instead of resorting to alcohol, drugs, or other negative behaviors that ultimately only make your symptoms worse. Regular exercise can also help boost your immune system and reduce the impact of stress.
Reaping the mental health benefits of exercise is easier than you think
You don’t need to devote hours out of your busy day to train at the gym, sweat buckets, or run mile after monotonous mile to reap all the physical and mental health benefits of exercise. Just 30-minutes of moderate exercise five times a week is enough. And even that can be broken down into two 15-minute or even three 10-minute exercise sessions if that’s easier.
Even a little bit of activity is better than nothing
If you don’t have time for 15 or 30 minutes of exercise, or if your body tells you to take a break after 5 or 10 minutes, for example, that’s okay, too. Start with 5- or 10-minute sessions and slowly increase your time. The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have, so eventually you’ll feel ready for a little more. The key is to commit to some moderate physical activity—however little—on most days. As exercising becomes a habit, you can slowly add extra minutes or try different types of activities. If you keep at it, the benefits of exercise will begin to pay off.
You don’t have to suffer to get results
Research shows that moderate levels of exercise are best for most people. Moderate means:
- That you breathe a little heavier than normal, but are not out of breath. For example, you should be able to chat with your walking partner, but not easily sing a song.
- That your body feels warmer as you move, but not overheated or very sweaty.
Can’t find time to exercise during the week? Be a weekend warrior
A recent study in the United Kingdom found that people who squeeze their exercise routines into one or two sessions during the weekend experience almost as many health benefits as those who work out more often. So don’t let a busy schedule at work, home, or school be an excuse to avoid activity. Get moving whenever you can find the time—your mind and body will thank you!
Overcoming obstacles to exercise
Even when you know that exercise will help you feel better, taking that first step is still easier said than done. Obstacles to exercising are very real—particularly when you’re also struggling with a mental health issue.
Here are some common barriers and how you can get past them.
Feeling exhausted. When you’re tired, depressed, or stressed, it seems that working out will just make you feel worse. But the truth is that physical activity is a powerful energizer. Studies show that regular exercise can dramatically reduce fatigue and increase your energy levels. If you are really feeling tired, promise yourself a quick, 5-minute walk. Chances are, once you get moving you’ll have more energy and be able to walk for longer.
Feeling overwhelmed. When you’re stressed or depressed, the thought of adding another obligation to your busy daily schedule can seem overwhelming. Working out just doesn’t seem practical. If you have children, finding childcare while you exercise can also be a big hurdle. However, if you begin thinking of physical activity as a priority (a necessity for your mental well-being), you’ll soon find ways to fit small amounts of exercise into even the busiest schedule.
Feeling hopeless. Even if you’ve never exercised before, you can still find ways to comfortably get active. Start slow with easy, low-impact activities a few minutes each day, such as walking or dancing.
Feeling bad about yourself. Are you your own worst critic? It’s time to try a new way of thinking about your body. No matter your weight, age or fitness level, there are plenty of others in the same boat. Ask a friend to exercise with you. Accomplishing even the smallest fitness goals will help you gain body confidence and improve how you think about yourself.
Feeling pain. If you have a disability, severe weight problem, arthritis, or any injury or illness that limits your mobility, talk to your doctor about ways to safely exercise. You shouldn’t ignore pain, but rather do what you can, when you can. Divide your exercise into shorter, more frequent chunks of time if that helps, or try exercising in water to reduce joint or muscle discomfort.
Getting started with exercise when you have a mental health issue
Many of us find it hard enough to motivate ourselves to exercise at the best of times. But when you feel depressed, anxious, stressed or have another mental health problem, it can seem doubly difficult. This is especially true of depression and anxiety, which can leave you feeling trapped in a catch-22 situation. You know exercise will make you feel better, but depression has robbed you of the energy and motivation you need to work out, or your social anxiety means you can’t bear the thought of being seen at an exercise class or running through the park.
Start small. When you’re under the cloud of anxiety or depression and haven’t exercised for a long time, setting extravagant goals like completing a marathon or working out for an hour every morning will only leave you more despondent if you fall short. Better to set achievable goals and build up from there.
Schedule workouts when your energy is highest. Perhaps you have most energy first thing in the morning before work or school or at lunchtime before the mid-afternoon lull hits? Or maybe you do better exercising for longer at the weekends. If depression or anxiety has you feeling tired and unmotivated all day long, try dancing to some music or simply going for a walk. Even a short, 15-minute walk can help clear your mind, improve your mood, and boost your energy level. As you move and start to feel a little better, you’ll often boost your energy enough to exercise more vigorously—by walking further, breaking into a run, or adding a bike ride, for example.
Focus on activities you enjoy. Any activity that gets you moving counts. That could include throwing a Frisbee with a dog or friend, walking laps of a mall window shopping, or cycling to the grocery store. If you’ve never exercised before or don’t know what you might enjoy, try a few different things. Activities such as gardening or tackling a home improvement project can be great ways to start moving more when you have a mood disorder—as well as helping you become more active, they can also leave you with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Be comfortable. Wear clothing that’s comfortable and choose a setting that you find calming or energizing. That may be a quiet corner of your home, a scenic path, or your favorite city park.
Reward yourself. Part of the reward of completing an activity is how much better you’ll feel afterwards, but it always helps your motivation to promise yourself an extra treat for exercising. Reward yourself with a hot bubble bath after a workout, a delicious smoothie, or with an extra episode of your favorite TV show, for example.
Make exercise a social activity. Exercising with a friend or loved one, or even your kids, will not only make exercising more fun and enjoyable, it can also help motivate you to stick to a workout routine. You’ll also feel better than if you were exercising alone. In fact, when you’re suffering from a mood disorder such as depression, the companionship can be just as important as the exercise.
Easy ways to move more that don’t involve the gym
Don’t have a 30-minute block of time to dedicate to yoga or a bike ride? Don’t worry. Think about physical activity as a lifestyle rather than just a single task to check off your to-do list. Look at your daily routine and consider ways to sneak in activity here, there, and everywhere.
<Move in and around your home. Clean the house, wash the car, tend to the yard and garden, mow the lawn with a push mower, sweep the sidewalk or patio with a broom.
Sneak activity in at work or on the go. Bike or walk to an appointment rather than drive, use stairs instead of elevators, briskly walk to the bus stop then get off one stop early, park at the back of the lot and walk into the store or office, or take a vigorous walk during your coffee break.
Get active with the family. Jog around the soccer field during your kid’s practice, make a neighborhood bike ride part of your weekend routine, play tag with your children in the yard, go canoeing at a lake, walk the dog in a new place.
Get creative with exercise ideas. Pick fruit at an orchard, boogie to music, go to the beach or take a hike, gently stretch while watching television, organize an office bowling team, take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga.
Make exercise a fun part of your everyday life
You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or force yourself into long, monotonous workouts to experience the many benefits of exercise. These tips can help you find activities you enjoy and start to feel better, look better, and get more out of life.
Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A.
The Best Workout For Anxiety Isn’t What You’d Think
Meredith and Cristina from Grey’s Anatomy may have been on to something with those stress-busting 30-second dance parties. If you’ve ever gotten the advice to work out to help your mental health, you know that exercise isn’t exactly a cure-all for anxiety. Managing your mental health requires a multi-pronged approach that can definitely include exercise, along with therapy, medication, or other doctor-supervised treatment strategies. But if exercise is your jam, the best workout for anxiety might surprise you.
According to a study published in Games for Health Journal, Zumba — the Latin American-inspired dance-fitness program — can actually transform your anxiety, thanks to the mental focus it takes to perform the Zumba dance moves and the fact that dancing is fun. MindBodyGreen ranked Zumba number one on their list of workouts for anxiety, with neurologist Ilene Ruhoy telling the publication, “It makes the body and mind feel good and contributes to a sense of belonging to a larger group of people with similar interests.”
If you’ve never taken this Latin dance class, it’s worth giving it a try because it’s impossible not to have fun while grooving to a steady Latin beat. While I used to take Zumba every day, I have’t done it in years. However, the news that it could be the best exercise for anxiety might just get me back on the dance floor; my anxiety can be debilitating, and I know that physical activity helps me calm down.
If your anxiety levels are too high to even consider taking a public Zumba class, you can build up your confidence at home by opting for a YouTube or video-game class. No matter where you do Zumba, the combination of concentration and physical movement will definitely take the focus off of your anxiety. “Since the exergame Zumba Fitness was considered enjoyable, it could also be used to stimulate the practice of physical activity at home and encourage daily exercise, especially among people who are reluctant to engage in more traditional forms of exercise, such as going to the gym or walking/jogging outdoors,” the study explained.
Zumba also has other super powers. Time magazine reported that another study published in the European Journal of Sport Science found that after just eight weeks of Zumba, women in the study reported a 9 percent increase in their overall quality of life and a 16 percent increase in their self-esteem.
One reason for these findings might be because Zumba forces you to let go of your need to control the situation, something people with anxiety may have a hard time doing. It also builds core strength on top of cardio, which can make you feel stronger and more confident.
“You have to let go and have fun during Zumba,” study coauthor Jamie Cooper, an associate professor at the University of Georgia, is quoted as saying in Time. Aside from being a great workout, Zumba is fun because it’s impossible not to laugh when you find yourself going left when you should be going right, or stepping forward when everyone else is stepping backward. Bring a friend so you can experience the hilarity and mental-health benefits together.
Of course, again, exercise — of any kind — isn’t a substitute for a comprehensive mental health care plan. Though plenty of studies show that just one hour of exercise per week can help alleviate symptoms of depression, this can be unhelpful advice to someone whose depression makes it impossible for them to get out of bed. And generally speaking, self-care practices like nourishing yourself, hydrating, getting enough sleep, or yes, exercising, are crucial to maintaining your mental health, but aren’t the same thing as therapy or medication when it comes to treating it.
That being said, there’s no harm in giving a new exercise routine a spin if you’re looking for a way to complement your mental health care plan. Want to give Zumba a try? You can find Zumba videos on YouTube, or head to Yelp to find a class near you.
Anxiety and Depression – Exercise is Medicine
Exercising with Anxiety and Depression
Regular physical activity is good for anxiety and depression. It can improve your mood and self-esteem. It will help reduce stress. Regular exercise also helps you sleep better and have more energy.
Anxiety is a deep concern for future events. Many studies show even just one exercise session can lower anxiety and make you feel calmer. The effect is similar to meditation or taking medication. Long-term, regular activity lowers anxiety, especially for people who are very anxious.
Depression affects about 5 percent of adults in all developed countries. It is a major cause of disability. The disability rate is even higher in those with mild depression. The main symptom in depression is fatigue. Fatigue is a low level of physical and mental energy. People with depression often have other chronic medical issues, like heart disease. Over time, depression affects how people live. It raises their risk of dying. It also lowers selfesteem and motivation. It can even interfere in relationships. In other words, depression makes everyday life harder.
Research shows that regular moderate or vigorous physical activity improves mental well-being. It also helps with other symptoms of depression. For example, active people are 45 percent less likely to develop symptoms of depression. The effects are similar to those after drug therapy.
Does the type of exercise make a difference? Most studies show that moderate to high levels of physical activity reduce symptoms more than lighter levels. Different modes of moderate to high levels of exercise have similar effects. Longer exercise sessions are better than a few short ones through the day. We aren’t sure about the minimal or best amount of exercise needed, but we do know that you don’t need a high fitness level to get the benefits. Being regularly active is more important than being fit.
How much exercise do you need to get the benefits? The most health benefit comes when inactive people become moderately active. Making exercise a regular part of your life can have a major impact on your health. The key is to choose activities you enjoy. Evidence suggests both aerobic and strength-training exercise help with anxiety and depression. Try to do both. If you are just starting out, do more aerobic exercise. Over time, add resistance workouts. Doing both types will bring even more benefits for overall health and fitness.
- Talk with your health care provider before you start an exercise program. Ask about any changes to your medications or any concerns in becoming more active.
- Take all medicines prescribed by your doctor.
- The main goal is to find activities you enjoy and will do regularly. Choose places that are well known and familiar to you. Avoid situations that raise your anxiety.
- Start by exercising on your own. Begin walking or another form of activity that you can integrate into your daily routine. If your fitness level is low, start with shorter sessions (even 5 to 10 minutes). Over time, build up to 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity.
- Invite others to join you. Exercising together is more fun. It also increases the chance you will continue. Dogs also make great walking partners!
- Look for programs in your community. You could also contact an appropriately credentialed exercise professional* to help you. All you really need, though, is a good pair of shoes to get started walking. • Use a pedometer or other device to track your progress. Slowly work toward a goal, like maybe 10,000 steps per day.
Aerobic Exercise Programs
The American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both for adults. They also suggest muscle strengthening twice a week. Follow the FITT principle to design and implement a safe, effective, and enjoyable program. F = frequency, I = intensity, T = time, and T = type.
- Frequency – Be active on most days of the week but at least three to four days. Work up to five days a week.
- Intensity – Exercise at a moderate or vigorous level. Use the “talk test” to help you monitor. For example, a moderate pace will slightly increase your heart rate and breathing, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation. As you walk faster, you will begin to breathe faster and have difficulty talking. At that point, you’ve achieved moderate intensity or “somewhat hard.” Vigorous exercise causes a large rise in heart rate and breathing. At this intensity, it would become hard to talk. Most people would rate this as “hard to very hard.”
- Time – Exercise 30 to 60 minutes per day. You can do it all at once or break it up into a few sessions of at least 10 minutes each.
- Type – Do rhythmic exercises using the large muscle groups. Try brisk walking, cycling, and swimming. Choose activities you enjoy and will do regularly in your new, more active lifestyle. Add variety depending on the day or the season to keep your program more enjoyable.
Aerobic Exercise Cautions
- If you take medicine, be aware that it might affect your response to exercise. For example, some antipsychotic medicines can cause dehydration or gait problems. Some antidepressants can cause fatigue, dizziness, and weight gain. Other antidepressants can make you drowsy but won’t affect your response to exercise.
- If you have been inactive, consider joining a structured, supervised program. This will provide a routine that you will be able to continue.
- Do not push too hard at the beginning. This may cause soreness and pain, which could make it harder to continue.
- If you have been inactive for a long time, start with short sessions (10 to 15 minutes). Add five minutes to each session, increasing every two to four weeks. Over time, build up to being active at least 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week.
Resistance Exercise Programs
Moderate or vigorous intensity resistance training is important to your program. Resistance training helps you to function better. It also promotes good physical and mental health. You should follow the FITT principle when creating a resistance exercise program.
- Frequency – Do resistance training at least two days per week. Plan a day of rest between sessions.
- Intensity – Begin at a moderate level. If you can lift a weight 10 to 15 times, you’ve achieved moderate intensity. Do more repetitions with less weight to reduce muscle soreness. Pain is no friend to people with anxiety or depression. Over time, work up to heavier weight.
- Time – Do two to three sets will all major muscle groups.
- Type – People less familiar with strength exercises should begin with weight machines. As strength improves, add free weights. Don’t belong to a gym or health club? No problem. You can do the same exercises at home using lighter weights, resistance bands, or your body weight as the resistance, like push-ups or sit-ups.
Resistance Exercise Cautions
- Don’t hold your breath when you lift. This can cause large changes in blood pressure. That change increases the risk of passing out or developing abnormal heart rhythms. This is especially so if you also have high blood pressure.
- If you have joint problems or other health problems, do only one set for all major muscle groups. Start with 10 to 15 repetitions. Build up to 15 to 20 repetitions before you add another set.
- Remember, you are not training to be a weight lifter. Rather, you are trying to improve your strength and muscle endurance. In addition, your daily life will be less stressful.
Other Types of Exercise
- Poor balance and reduced muscle mass and strength are all independent risk factors for fractures and falling. Fifty percent of older adults have problems with balance.
- Exercises to improve balance are easy to do and can help a lot. Stand on one foot, stand or walk on a balance board, or walk backwards to improve balance.
- Reduce anxiety and the risk of falling with a few simple precautions. Avoid unstable surfaces. Keep your exercise area free of hazards. Use balance support like a chair, wall, or nearby person.
- Exercise for flexibility offers general health benefits. Each day you do aerobic or strength activities, take an extra 10 minutes to stretch the major muscle and tendon groups. Each stretch should last 10 to 30 seconds and be repeated 3 to 4 times.
- Tai chi and yoga are good programs for balance, flexibility, and mobility. They also help with relaxation and a sense of wellbeing.
Design your exercise program for the most benefit and fewest risks to your health or physical condition. Contact an appropriately credentialed exercise professional* to work with you and your doctor. They can help you establish realistic goals. Together, you can design a safe, effective, and enjoyable program to meet your needs and goals.
Contact us for more information.
*A listing of exercise professionals can be found at www.usreps.org and EIM Credentialed professionals can be found through the ACSM ProFinder.
Five anxiety-fighting exercises you can do at home
If you’ve ever suffered from anxiety,
you know that finding the motivation to get active can be challenging; but
once you do, it can have a significant positive impact on your mental
Exercise releases endorphins and other chemicals
in your brain that increase your sense of well-being. And by forcing you to
focus on the activity you’re doing, exercising takes your mind off the
source of your anxiety.
When you think about exercising, the first thing that comes to mind might
be hitting the gym or going for a run; but exercise is really
any type of structured activity that improves
your physical fitness. With that in mind, here are five helpful exercises
that fight anxiety — all of which you can do in the comfort of your home:
1. Get active at home
For starters, become
more active around the house. You might not think of gardening, for example, as exercise — but an
afternoon of tilling soil will give you many of the benefits you’re
seeking. Walking your dog, doing home improvement projects, or even washing
your car are all great ways to get moving.
2. Give yoga a try
Yoga has been used for centuries to calm and collect a frazzled brain.
Benefits of adding yoga to
your daily routine can include not only a reduction in anxiety through
meditative techniques, but also an increase in physical strength and endurance. Yoga comes in
many forms, so whether you’re looking to build up strength, increase your
flexibility, or relieve some tension after a stressful day, there’s a flow
that will work for you.
3. Body weight workouts
Getting a good workout doesn’t necessarily require heading to the gym. Body
weight exercises use your own mass instead of gym equipment to
build strength and boost your metabolism. Pushups, sit-ups, dips, planks, squats, and a number of other exercises
can all be done to
great effect right in your living room, with or without the aid of items such as kettle bells, medicine balls, or
4. Get some cardio
Turning living-room exercises into a session of circuit training can get
your heart rate going; but to really see some benefits, engage in
full-on aerobic activity. Running, brisk walking, biking, or swimming all elevate your heart rate,
activating anti-anxiety neurochemicals in your brain. A vigorous cardio session can also help to decrease tension in your
muscles that may be causing you to feel anxious.
5. Shake your groove thing
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t cut loose with a healthy
dance session. Not only is dancing one of the
best workouts you can get, it’s also an effective way to
treat stress and anxiety. All it requires is a little bit of music and enough space to get moving.
So, push the coffee table out of the way, channel your inner Meredith and
Christina, and “dance it out”
like they do on Grey’s Anatomy!
In addition to exercising, don’t overlook the
importance of the right diet
to both help with your anxiety and provide the right fuel for a workout.
Make sure to limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol, and drink plenty of
Just 30 minutes of exercise each day will do wonders for your health. Everyone can reap the rewards of improved mood, heart health, a strengthened immune system, and the other benefits of exercise. But for those suffering from anxiety the impact can be even greater. Now is the time to set your goal and get moving.
Exercise for depression – NHS
Being depressed can leave you feeling low in energy, which might put you off being more active.
Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression.
“Any type of exercise is useful, as long as it suits you and you do enough of it,” says Dr Alan Cohen, a GP with a special interest in mental health.
“Exercise should be something you enjoy; otherwise, it will be hard to find the motivation to do it regularly.”
How often do you need to exercise?
To stay healthy, adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
Read more about:
If you have not exercised for a while, start gradually and aim to build up towards achieving 150 minutes a week.
Any exercise is better than none. Even a brisk 10-minute walk can clear your mind and help you relax.
How to get started with exercise
Find an activity you can do regularly. You can take part in a team sport, attend classes at a leisure centre, or just be more active in your daily routine by walking or cycling instead of travelling by car or public transport.
Find out about different types of exercise and the benefits of being more active for fitness
Read a guide to getting active if you have a disability or long-term health condition
Find local exercise classes and sports clubs
If being outdoors appeals to you, Green Gym projects, run with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), provide exercise for people who do not like the idea of the gym or indoor exercise classes. To find out more, visit the TCV website.
If you like walking, visit the Walking for Health website to find a walking group near you. Walking for Health groups can support people who have health problems, including mental health conditions.
Exercise on prescription
If you have not exercised for a long time or are concerned about the effects of exercise on your body or health, ask a GP about exercise on prescription.
Lots of GP surgeries across the country prescribe exercise as a treatment for a range of conditions, including depression.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that people with mild to moderate depression take part in about 3 sessions a week, lasting about 45 minutes to 1 hour, over 10 to 14 weeks.
The GP can help you decide what type of activity will suit you. Depending on your circumstances and what’s available locally, the exercise programme may be offered free or at a reduced cost.
Other help for depression
Many treatments are available for depression, including talking therapies, antidepressants and self-help of various kinds.
Find out more about treatment for depression
If you have been feeling down for more than 2 weeks, see a GP to discuss your symptoms.
They can tell you about the choice of treatment available for depression and help you decide what’s best for you.
Find out how running can boost your mood
Find out how being active helps mental wellbeing
Audio: low mood and depression
In this audio guide, a doctor explains what you can do to help yourself cope with low mood and depression.
Media last reviewed: 2 March 2021
Media review due: 2 March 2024
Page last reviewed: 21 November 2018
Next review due: 21 November 2021
Weight Training May Help Ease Anxiety
As expected, the control group, for the most part, retained their original low levels of anxiety. They still felt about as tranquil as eight weeks before.
But the weight trainers scored about 20 percent better on the tests of anxiety. They had started with low levels of anxiety to begin with, but felt even less anxious now.
This effect was “larger than anticipated,” says Brett Gordon, currently a postdoctoral scholar at the Penn State Cancer Institute at Penn State College of Medicine, who was a co-author of the study with Matthew Herring, Cillian McDowell and Mark Lyons. The benefits for mental health were greater, in fact, than those often seen in studies of aerobic exercise and anxiety. But Dr. Gordon cautions that such comparisons are limited, since the various experiments use different amounts of exercise and measures of moods.
The new study also did not delve into how weight training can affect anxiety. But Dr. Gordon and his colleagues suspect increased physical and psychological potency figure in. The lifters became stronger over time and able to lift heavier weights. “Feelings of mastery may have occurred” then, he says, leaving people feeling generally more capable of coping. Molecular changes in the lifters’ muscles and brain likely also occurred and contributed to improvements in their moods, he says, noting that future studies may help to detail some of those changes.
Or course, this experiment featured only healthy young people performing one version of training, so the findings cannot tell us if lifting likewise eases anxiety in older people. Nor can it tell us which regimen might be enough, too much or just the right amount to bolster mental health. Finally, it also does not prove that heading to the gym today can acutely soothe any mental turmoil we may be feeling, since the improvements in the study showed up after weeks of training.
But if you are feeling tense and uptight, as so many of us are these days, becoming stronger is probably a worthwhile goal and need not be intimidating, Dr. Gordon says. “There are numerous ways to strength train with little to no equipment,” he says. “Try common body weight exercises, such as push-ups, situps or squats, or use household items as weights.”
You can find more information about D.I.Y. weight training in our Well Guides: “How to Get Strong” and “How to Build Muscle in 9 Minutes.”
90,000 Mental and Emotional Benefits of Exercise
There are various reasons for exercising, such as staying healthy or losing weight. But did you know that exercise also helps your emotional and mental health? Exercise is a very powerful “medicine” in the sense that it naturally does what many scientists in the pharmaceutical world have been creating for decades. Below are some of the many benefits of physiological exercise gain.
The ability of exercise to reduce mental and physical stress is well documented. Heading to the gym or exercising your home exercise equipment can trigger a strong release of certain chemicals that help the brain to control stress. In addition, regularly exposing the body to physical stress teaches it to recover and adapt to stress, both physically and mentally.
Because your body needs to recover from exercise, your brain will make you tired earlier and help you… sleep better all night. The human body regenerates itself at night when we sleep; this is the deepest post-workout recovery effect. Without sleep, you won’t get very far in your fitness quest. Luckily, your brain is covering your back.
Exercise can increase the release of “happy chemicals” called endorphins, which act in a similar way to pain medications that interact with your brain’s neurotransmitters.Don’t worry, there is no dependency here. These endorphins are released naturally during exercise and have been shown to. reduce depression and increase the feeling of “euphoria” after exercise. Plus, outdoor exercise can also give you a boost to happiness.
Many factors make this a great benefit of exercise. First, your social skills get “coached” leading to more confidence in and out of the gym.You will likely be more confident in a gym setting that carries over to other aspects of your career and personal life. Finally, you will also improve your positive self-awareness and self-observation, all at the same time increasing the perception of your self-worth.
Enhanced cognitive function
Our cognitive functions have been shown to decrease with age. Regular exercise at any age can affect the part of the brain that acts on memory (the hippocampus) and improve its function.This also applies to our learning ability. Thanks to the same adaptations in the hippocampus, people who exercise regularly are more likely to retain new information.
The function here is very similar to what was discussed above with endorphins. The exercise was even more successful in reducing anxiety than the bubble bath and at the same level as the Swedish massage. Exercise can help reduce feelings of anxiety because it not only releases endorphins, but it also gives your mind something else to focus on, such as keeping your breath steady.
When we exercise, our blood flow increases, which helps carry oxygen and nutrients to our muscles and makes us more energetic and alert. As mentioned above, with an improvement in the quality of sleep, energy improves, since our body gets everything else it needs. Research shows that people who exercise regularly tend to be more productive both at work and in their personal lives.This is also coupled with the fact that their positive self-talk is increased, which has a big impact on the perception or feeling of being awake and energized. Finally, because people who exercise are also more likely to make healthy food choices, they also experience more energy and consume less caffeine per day.
Development and strengthening of interpersonal relations
When people start to study with a friend or partner, they find time to spend together and keep each other motivated.Plus, by feeling confident while exercising, people will look for other people with the same interests. Thus, they will begin to develop and strengthen interpersonal relationships as a basic human need. Community membership has a large impact on mental health. and success in achieving our goals.
By exposing gym members and clients to these benefits, they can increase their lifespan at the gym, as well as increase the likelihood of seeing results and referring to friends and family.What positive emotional and mental health have you personally noticed after making exercise a part of your life?
90,000 5 exercises to combat anxiety. How to Turn Off Trivial Anxiety | Self-development
“Whenever I am alone with my thoughts, I am overwhelmed by an unpleasant sensation, a kind of melancholy or an incomprehensible foreboding. I start to worry that my husband is late from work, or I feel a tingling sensation in my stomach, and terrible diagnoses pop up in my head.I always find reasons for concern without difficulty. It tires me and makes me completely overwhelmed, ”says Natalya. Still, anxiety is a debilitating feeling.
We are all familiar with anxiety. Many have heard of phobias and panic attacks. But you do not shiver at the sight of spiders and fly safely in an airplane. You do not have a specific object that terrifies you, you do not experience seizures, but everything new, unknown, questionable and unplanned makes you feel very anxious .
The pulse quickens, you feel discomfort in the chest, stomach problems appear. You get nervous, get tired quickly, cannot relax. If this whole bunch of symptoms has been plaguing you for several months, most likely we are talking about 90,060 generalized anxiety disorder .
This disorder may be personality-related and is inherited from anxious and overprotective parents. In the event that you do not take any therapeutic measures, the disorder can progress.Psychotherapy and small lifestyle adjustments help to successfully cope with this ailment.
If you experience anxiety and it interferes with your life, regularly use the exercises below, and after one or two months you will find that a huge load of unfounded fears has been lifted from your shoulders.
Exercise # 1. Motivation
It would seem that the goal is quite clear: you want to get rid of anxiety. But how can you measure the result of the work done? Write down a list of what you will get if you stop worrying about trifles.
- I can sleep well.
- I can enjoy visiting crowded places.
- I will have energy for outdoor activities and hobbies.
- My work will start to bring me more pleasure.
- I will stop breaking into those close to me …
Think hard. Anxiety binds you hand and foot. And it is you who obediently stand and wait for her to squeeze harder. What wonderful prospects open up if you stop obeying her!
Exercise number 2.Inventory
We figured out the motivation. We now need to assess recurring concerns. Write down the main topics that concern you.
- I’m afraid not to hear the alarm and oversleep at work.
- I am afraid that my husband will leave me.
- I am afraid that at work I will cease to be respected if I make any mistake.
Give your fears from 0 to 10 points. Zero is a neutral state, and ten is on the verge of wild horror.
Now let’s reflect on how your fears correspond to the real situation. For example, how many times did your alarm go unheard, and what were the consequences? Are you really late for work so often that another case threatens you with dismissal? What has changed in your relationship with your husband? Are there any serious prerequisites for a breakup? What would you do if he really left? How was the life of your divorced acquaintances? Try to remember positive examples as well.Do the same for the other items on your list.
Exercise # 3. Blacklist
Very often our fears are born from wrong beliefs. Therefore, it is important to find them and neutralize them in time. If we turn to our examples, we can see something like: “I am an irresponsible person, I am not worthy of this job, no one appreciates me, men don’t love me, no one needs me, I’m unattractive, uninteresting, I don’t cope with my work. , everyone is watching me closely and waiting for a miss. “
Each anxious person has his own set of “compliments”, but such harmful thoughts go back to more universal ones:
- The world is cruel and dangerous, but I am weak and helpless.
- I have to keep everything under control.
- Trusting others is very reckless.
- I can’t handle this.
- If I stop worrying, I will definitely make a mistake.
Next to each belief, write the opposite of it.
- I am strong, I am able to cope with any task!
- I live in a wonderful world full of opportunities and surprises!
- I trust the people around me!
- In a state of rest and confidence, I act more efficiently!
- I do not seek to control what is beyond my control!
- No matter what happens, I can handle it!
Review these beliefs daily.You can make stickers with them, put them on your computer screen saver or in any other prominent place. It will take a lot of repetition to get it built into your “operating system”, but it’s worth it.
Exercise number 4. Magic wand
If anxiety prevents you from falling asleep or concentrating on something, arm yourself with a simple pencil and a piece of paper. Take a close look at your feeling. Where is it located? How does it manifest itself? Is it burning? Is it pricks? Pulls? What color and size is it?
Imagine that it melts, takes on a liquid state, and through a tube stretched along your hand, flows through a pencil onto paper.Draw scribbles, dots, strokes – whatever comes into your head. Very soon, you will begin to feel better, calmer, and able to focus your attention on what you are about to do.
Exercise # 5. Cleaning the area
An important part of dealing with anxiety is returning freedom of action. If you see a therapist, he can go with you to places where you are struggling not to be. These journeys can take place in reality or only in your thoughts.The goal is to stop avoiding the places or situations that you fear. For example, talking to a stranger, refusing a service, taking the elevator, going to a meeting with classmates. Make a plan of action for yourself and start with the points that cause you the least concern. After defeating lesser fears, move on.
Add muscle relaxation, massage and breathing techniques to these exercises, increase physical activity, socialize with pleasant people, and avoid alcohol and coffee.
The main thing is to understand that only regular training will bring success. Having tried it once, don’t expect a magical change. However, from the very first days you will feel relief.
Anxious people try to control everything around them, it seems to them that in this way they will protect themselves. But it is impossible to calculate everything in advance. And even by closing yourself in four walls, you will not protect yourself from sudden illness or madness. Whatever you do, you are as unarmed in the face of chance as the most careless person.This sad truth, which we need to accept, has its downside.
Our mistakes and troubles can lead us to success. Your new job may be better than your old one, and after a divorce, you may feel much happier. Isn’t this a reason to stop being afraid of the future and enjoy the present!
Now you are tired and want to sleep, now you are alive and well, now your loved one is near, now your colleagues and bosses are happy with you. Enjoy!
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90,000 How does sports exercise reduce anxiety?
Anxiety is common these days. Almost every person, if not suffering from this himself, then knows someone among friends or family who is prone to anxiety. Neuropsychiatrist John Raithy cites American statistics: one in five adults over 18 and one in three teenagers aged 13 to 18 were diagnosed with chronic anxiety disorder last year.
High anxiety levels increase the risk of other disorders, such as depression, and may contribute to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Dr. Raithy notes. The expert considers the results of a recent study to be very important, which show that anxious people tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle. But it is activity that may be the best non-medical solution for preventing and treating anxiety.
Time to lace up your sneakers, get out of the car and move! – writes Rey.As a psychiatrist studying the effects of exercise on the brain, he is not only familiar with scientific postulates, but has also seen in practice how physical activity affects patients. Research shows that aerobic exercise is especially beneficial.
A simple bike ride, dance lesson, or even a brisk walk can be a powerful tool for those suffering from chronic anxiety. Doing this also helps people who are overly nervous and anxious, for example, about an upcoming exam, public speaking, or an important meeting.
How does exercise help reduce anxiety?
- Exercise is a distraction from a disturbing topic.
- Movement reduces muscle tension, thereby reducing the body’s own contribution to feelings of anxiety.
- Raising heart rate alters brain chemistry by increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and brain neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
- Exercise activates the frontal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for executive function, which helps control the tonsils, a biological system for responding to real or imagined threats to our survival.
- Regular exercise creates resources that increase resistance to violent emotions.
So how much exercise do you need to protect against anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders? While not easy to determine, recent analytics in the journal Anxiety-Depression showed that people with anxiety disorders who had enough physical activity in their lives were better protected from developing anxiety symptoms than those who did not exercise much.
Dr. Ratie sums it up: When it comes to treating anxiety, it’s better to do more exercise.“Don’t be discouraged, even if you are just getting started. Some studies show that even one workout can help ease the anxiety that comes along. Which type of exercise you choose may not make a big difference. Research points to the effectiveness of any physical activity, from tai chi to high-intensity interval training. People experienced improvement no matter what activities they tried. Even just general physical activity is helpful.The main thing is to try, to act and not to give up what you started. ”
How to make your classes the most effective?
- Choose an activity that is pleasant for yourself, which you want to repeat, reinforcing a positive impact.
- Work on raising your heart rate.
- Engage with a friend or group to take advantage of the added benefit of social support.
- If possible, exercise outdoors or in green areas to further reduce stress and anxiety.
While scientific research is important, there is no need to go to charts, statistics, or expert judgment to find out how well we feel after exercise when anxiety subsides. “Remember these feelings and use them as motivation to exercise daily. Time to get up and move! ” – calls on the neuropsychiatrist.
What to do if a child has clubfoot
Clubfoot is an abnormality of the anatomical structure of the joints of the foot.Outwardly, it looks like a turn of the foot inward and slightly down. It is impossible to completely step on the foot in this position.
It is important to remember here that there comes a time when the clubfoot ceases to be corrected. It will no longer be possible to help the child. Therefore, treatment should be started immediately after the detection of this deviation.
What a parent should do with clubfoot in a child – we will tell you in our article.
A visit to an orthopedist is the first thing to do
To reduce the level of anxiety and anxiety, it is necessary to make an appointment with a podiatrist.
The doctor will assess the condition of the child’s legs and give the necessary recommendations for therapy that can stop the development of the pathology.
Frequent advice from orthopedists in the treatment and prevention of clubfoot development, as a rule, are:
- massage course;
- certain sports sections that will be useful to visit with such an anatomical feature – for example, dancing or gymnastics;
- a complex of physiotherapy exercises aimed at eliminating clubfoot;
- home use of massage mats;
- the use of orthopedic insoles and / or orthopedic shoes.
All of these recommendations are aimed, firstly, at strengthening and stretching the muscles, and secondly, at their activation or relaxation, depending on the prescriptions of the attending orthopedic surgeon. Please note that the massage course – its duration and specifics – is prescribed only by a doctor. When it comes to sports, you can choose any discipline, but be sure to pay attention to the injury of sports. Now it is important to “instruct” the child’s body on the correct development, so doctors recommend dancing, gymnastics (not Olympic sports), swimming, etc.NS.
Let us tell you more about the methods of treating and correcting clubfoot that you can do yourself at home.
Regular gymnastics – exercise therapy for clubfoot
Therapeutic gymnastics for clubfoot has the goal of strengthening and activating relaxed muscles and, conversely, to relax muscles that are in increased tone.
When performing these exercises, it is very important for the parent to follow, and the child to try:
- put the foot on the inner arch;
- Take the foot towards the little finger.
We will present a set of exercises in the article.
Be sure to check these exercises with your orthopedic doctor!
1. “Rubber band”. Starting position: sitting on the floor, support with your hands behind, straightened legs together. A wide elastic band must be worn on the forefoot.
Take your feet to the sides, stretching the elastic. The heels remain closed. Try to direct your fingers “towards yourself”, that is, to unbend the feet.Maintain this tension from ten seconds to one minute – once.
2. “Bar”. Starting position: standing with the front parts of the feet on a bar 10-15 cm high, the heels hang from the bar, hold the bar of the wall bar or the back of the chair with your hands.
Make springy movements with the heels to the floor, stretching the back surfaces of the shins and the Achilles tendons – three times. Return to starting position. Repeat eight times.
3.”Fir-tree”. Starting position: on the rug create an image of a straight strip, from which branches go to the sides at an angle, make their frequency equal to the distance of a small step. Rearrange the feet along the “branches” so that the heels are facing the middle, that is, toward the central strip, and the forefoot sections are set aside. Here you need to look down to place your feet correctly.
4. “Walking with a goose step.” Starting position: in the squat position with the feet abducted to the sides.Hands free or on the belt.
Walk until tired.
5. “Walking on heels.” Walk twenty seconds.
6. “Rotation of the foot”. Starting position: sitting on a chair, put the right leg on the left knee on the knee, put your hands in the “lock” on the right knee to fix the right leg. With the right foot “draw” circles clockwise – until slightly tired. With the left foot, “draw” circles counterclockwise – until slightly tired.
7. “Rope Walker”. Walking on a rope or a gymnastic stick with the feet abducted to the sides.
Relaxing walking is encouraged after exercise.
There are contraindications. A doctor’s consultation is required.
Complex treatment – orthopedic insoles and massage mats
The massage mat creates the effect of nature-created surfaces that are healthy for the feet.Sand, rocky and forest paths, thanks to natural irregularities, perfectly massage a person’s bare foot. Massage mats give the same effect.
It is important to understand that it is difficult or even impossible to get a child to walk on a small surface. Therefore, it is best to purchase several rugs and arrange them at home along the child’s most frequent route. Thus, throughout the day, the feet will receive a beneficial effect without special efforts on the part of the parents and the child.
Orthopedic insoles or shoes
Orthopedic insoles and shoes support the arches of the foot in the anatomically correct position and thus shape the correct development of the foot, ankle and knee joints. In addition, more comfortable conditions are created for the spine: the likelihood of the development of stoop is reduced.
The necessary insoles or shoes – therapeutic or prophylactic – will be prescribed by an orthopedic doctor.With the recommendations of a doctor, you can already visit a specialized orthopedic salon. It is better to purchase these products in the salon, since in this case there will be a great opportunity to try on and choose what will be most comfortable for the child.
Clubfoot is one of the most severe foot defects. Only a comprehensive treatment of clubfoot, with diligence and conscientious exercise, the use of auxiliary products recommended by the doctor and under the regular supervision of an orthopedist, will give a positive result.
How to deal with anxiety: 7 ways that will help
Anxiety is an emotional state caused by the expectation of danger or threat. While fear is a basic human emotion associated with the instinct of self-preservation, and appears immediately at the moment of danger.
The terms “fear” and “anxiety” are not synonymous, but they can be used interchangeably when it comes to situational anxiety (state at a given time).
In a normal state, the self-preservation function encourages action, but there are also moments of apathy when anxiety intensifies.
We will tell you how to cope with anxiety on your own and determine its level in yourself.
Read more: “9 proven ways to beat procrastination”
How to measure anxiety level
American psychologist Charles Spielberger studied over 117 signs of human anxiety and created a scale to determine its level.His “assessment of the level of anxiety” is divided into situational and personal. The situational is responsible for the state at a given moment in time and the influence of external circumstances – for example, self-isolation. Personal – the character of a person.
To determine “your level” of anxiety, you can take a test of 40 short questions.
What causes anxiety
The main factors that provoke increased anxiety in us: loneliness, problems at work, problems in relationships, health, environment and all kinds of conflicts.
Our way of life also has a great influence. For example, we are more likely to experience anxiety if we constantly hang on the phone or watch the news on TV. Digital progress has certainly made our life faster and better, but we pay for this comfort with an additional level of stress, new fears and complexes due to the large flow of news.
Try to minimize the number of hours spent on the Internet. Walk in the fresh air, read, do yoga, cook, crochet, build LEGO – there are many more options than you might think.
Stages of anxiety
– Waiting alarm. People who foresee the most unfavorable of all possible situations suffer. Such anxiety can appear at certain moments or haunt a person constantly.
– Anxiety in the form of phobias is associated with certain situations and objects. For example, fear of loneliness, spiders or darkness. It can be a clinical case if it is expressed in the form of panic attacks.
– Neurotic anxiety. This form of anxiety is the most serious and occurs in many psychological illnesses: hysterical, schizoid. There is a pathological level of fear here that destroys a person’s mental health.
The entire planet is now in fear of waiting due to the incessant flow of news and uncertainty. “Fear of waiting” or “free fear” is formed due to the flow of information in which we are constantly immersed. The following will describe tools that help to cope with situational anxiety that has nothing to do with clinical cases.
Feelings of fear are easy to confuse, so before we talk about how to get rid of anxiety, we will learn how to identify it.
There are situations when we do not distinguish between emotions, therefore the so-called “false alarm” is formed. In this case, the first thing that psychologists can advise is to learn how to separate anxiety from a large stream of other emotions. Observe yourself – in what situations you are overwhelmed by anxiety. Divide these situations into those in which the anxiety is justified and those where it is not.
For example, you are on a bus and, approaching a bus stop, you are overtaken by a feeling of anxiety. On the one hand, this can be caused by fear that you will miss your stop, or by a feeling of shame, as it is embarrassing to ask the driver to stop the car.
Or another example – you want to ask a question to a teacher in class, but you are afraid to raise your hand. This fear can arise from self-doubt and the expectation that classmates will laugh at you.
Sometimes anxiety arises from other feelings, such as shame or insecurity.Realizing this and overcoming, you no longer have a reason for concern, and with it the state of anxiety disappears.
Read more: “How to stop being shy and get rid of the language barrier”
How to deal with anxiety
Anxiety often arises from feelings of uncertainty in actions. To begin with, try to figure out what is causing the concern.For example, you are worried that you might be fired from your job. Before you panic, look at the facts: look at the state of the market and the area in which your company operates, estimate the workload at work now and predict the task plan for the next month. And this applies not only to work, but to any area in which you feel anxiety.
Typically, this exercise will help you see the true picture. If you understand that while everything is under control, you can breathe out, if not, proceed to your detailing.Describe a detailed plan of action that will help you avoid uncertainty and suggest how to act in any situation:
- Describe what skills you have and where they can come in handy. For example, possession of an illustrator or photoshop, a driver’s license and a car, copywriting skills, etc.
- Edit your resume and prepare some cover letters to the employer about yourself.
- Form a range of services for yourself, starting with the most preferred activities to the least interesting.
- From , leave a list of potential employers to whom you can offer your services. The bigger, the better.
- Write to them!
The work done will help you feel more confident and have a plan for getting out of a crisis.
Sometimes anxiety arises from the belief that we will not cope with this or that action. A visual picture of your skills will always help to believe in yourself. When you read your list, you will realize that much can be achieved, no matter the circumstances.
Read more: “4 points in the resume that will help the employer choose you”
Use exposure therapy
A complex combination of words with a simple meaning – meeting your problem “head-on “. It is important to understand that this is NOT a fight against a problem. The point is to acknowledge the existence of anxiety, not completely get rid of it.
Don’t ignore what makes you feel anxious.For example, to move up the career ladder, you need to learn English, but you have not opened a textbook for three days and constantly scold yourself for it. This lowers your self-esteem and increases anxiety about your success at work and in life.
Give yourself a full day of rest without worry and self-criticism. Imagine this is an official vacation or vacation. And then gradually get down to business: you can start with one page of English text a day or a five-minute video. Gradually, you will accustom your body to stress and develop a habit.
Observe the sleep schedule
It is during sleep that growth hormone is produced, which is responsible for the restoration of our body, including the nervous system. Especially if we go to bed before 12 o’clock at night.
The BBC Television Program “Trust Me I’m a Doctor” in collaboration with the University of Oxford conducted a small experiment on the effect of sleep on our psychological state. The study involved people who have “sound sleep”. During the experiment, the participants were given conditions: in the first three nights, they had to sleep for 8 hours, which is the norm, and for the next three nights, for 4 hours.Every day, subjects answered questions that helped identify changes in their psychological state, behavior and emotions. The results showed that after two nights of lack of sleep, negative emotions began to prevail in the subjects, as well as an increase in distrust of others and aggression.
The study also says that insomnia is not always a consequence of mental disorders, sometimes it is the lack of sleep that provokes the appearance of psychological problems.
It is important to periodically switch from one activity to another — for example, from physical activity to mental activity.So, when you play sports, the brain functions are restored due to the supply of oxygen. And with mental stress, the muscular system is restored by improving blood flow in the muscles.
A simple alternation of work and study with a small amount of physical activity will improve the work of the body’s metabolic processes, and at the same time accelerate the recovery of the nervous system, contributing to its strengthening.
Meditate and breathe
Meditation and breathing are faithful helpers in overcoming psychological instability.A study by Johns Hopkins University found an association between meditation practice and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. The team of researchers found that the effect of meditation is comparable to that of depressants – in this case, being a more useful solution to the problem, since it does not cause side effects. Also, meditation helps to switch the work of the brain and focus on yourself, and not on the “noise” around.
Breathing techniques are just as beneficial: they improve blood circulation and accelerate the general metabolism.Also, the technique of deep breathing in combination with relaxation exercises is good at reducing nervous tension.
Routine helps reduce anxiety. Engage in a hobby, watch movies, get out, play sports – try to periodically disconnect from the news stream and take time for yourself and your body.
Read more: “What to do with your child at home at any age”
If your anxiety persists, see a doctor – so, you can quickly understand yourself and solve internal problems! Do not forget that your health is the most valuable thing and referring to a specialist is an act that you do first of all for yourself.
Info Field »How does a gym save you from depression?
23 January 2020
Exercise has been shown to help prevent and correct a range of health problems. Among the problems that regular exercise can help to cope with are high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. And research on the relationship between depression, anxiety, and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of sports can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.
How does exercise help fight depression and anxiety?
Regular exercise triggers the release of endorphins, natural chemicals that make you feel better. Exercise has many mental and emotional benefits. They will help you:
- Become more confident. Achieving goals or objectives, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better.
- Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity can give you the opportunity to meet or network with like-minded people.
- Manage depression in a healthy way. Doing something positive to deal with depression or anxiety is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol or hoping that depression or anxiety will go away on its own can make your symptoms worse.
Is an exercise program the only option?
Some studies show that household physical activity, such as regular walking, can also help improve mood. Physical activity and exercise are not the same thing, but both are good for your health.
- Physical activity is any activity that requires an expenditure of energy and may include work, household chores or leisure.
- Exercise is a repetitive body movement performed to improve or maintain fitness.
The word “exercise” can make you think about running in circles in a gym. But exercise includes a wide variety of activities that increase your activity level to help you feel better.
Of course, you can choose from running, weight training, basketball and other fitness activities. But the same can be said for physical activity such as gardening, washing the car, walking in the park, or other less intense activities.Any physical activity that gets you off the couch will help improve your mood.
Find ways to add small amounts of physical activity throughout the day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little further from work to walk for a few minutes. Or, if possible, bike to work.
Do you think you don’t have time for physical activity?
Exercise for 30 minutes or more per day, three to five days per week, can significantly reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety.But less physical activity – as little as 10 to 15 minutes a day – also matters.
How to start?
- Do what you enjoy doing. Find out what types of physical activity you enjoy the most, and think about when and how you will do them. For example, if you are more likely to garden in the evening, start your day by jogging, or cycling, or playing basketball with your kids after school.
- Consult your doctor. If you are seeing a depression professional, contact them for advice and support. Discuss an exercise program or physical activity at home and how it fits with your overall treatment plan.
- Set reasonable goals. Your activity does not have to start from an hour every day, five days a week, start gradually.
- Don’t think of exercise or physical activity as work. If exercise is just another “necessity” in your life, you will associate it with failure. You should like what you are doing.
- Analyze your barriers. Find out what is preventing you from being physically active or playing sports. For example, if you are embarrassed to practice in the gym, you can practice at home. If you find it easier to stick to goals with someone, find a friend to train with. If you don’t have the money for exercise equipment, do things that you can do without equipment, such as walking regularly.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you miss an exercise on any of the days, this does not mean that you are not doing well and should quit. Just try it tomorrow.
If you exercise regularly and symptoms of depression or anxiety continue to interfere with your daily life, see your doctor or mental health professional. Exercise and physical activity are great ways to ease symptoms of depression or anxiety, but they cannot replace psychotherapy or medication.
50 exercises for stretching the muscles of the whole body
Stretch after warm-up. This way you can deepen the stretch without injuring your muscles and ligaments.
Warm Up Before Stretching
When you stretch after a workout, your muscles are already warmed up and no additional warm up is required. If you decide to arrange a separate stretching lesson, first do a few exercises:
- Joint warm-up: twist your joints, make bends and turns of the body.
- 5-7 minutes of cardio: running or exercising Jumping Jacks, Climber, running in place with high knees, jumping rope.
Once you’ve warmed up a bit, you can start stretching.
How and how much to stretch
With the help of these exercises you can arrange an independent stretching session and stretch all the muscles of the body well. However, this will take about 60–90 minutes. For quick stretches, choose one to two exercises for each muscle group involved in your workout.
To stretch your muscles well, hold each pose for 30 seconds to two minutes. You can keep still or spring gently. Jumping movements can lead to injury, so leave them for another sport.
We present exercises for stretching from top to bottom: neck, shoulders and arms, chest and back, abs, buttocks, thighs, shins.
Neck stretching exercises
1. Tilt the head back and to the side
Tilt your head back, pulling the front of the neck.From this position, tilt your head to the left. For more effect, place your left palm on the right side of your head, but don’t press hard.
Repeat the exercise on the other side.
2. Tilt the head forward and to the side
Place your right hand on the left side of the head. Tilt your head forward and to the side, increase the pressure with your hand.
Repeat the other way.
3. Stretching the back of the neck
Place one hand on the back of your head and the other on your chin.Lower your head by making a double chin. In this case, the neck remains straight, the back of the head tends upward. You should feel tension in the back of your neck, especially at the base of your skull.
Exercises for stretching the shoulders
4. Stretching the front of the shoulders
Place your arms behind your back, wrap one hand around your wrist with the other. Bend your elbows and lift your wrists higher. Bring your chest forward and feel the stretch in the front of your shoulders.
5. Stretching the middle of the shoulders
Grasp the opposite elbow with your hand, bring your shoulder to you and pull it down.Repeat with the other hand.
6. Stretching the back of the shoulders
Grasp the right arm with the left above the elbow, press it to the body and straighten, lower the right shoulder down. With your left hand, pull your right hand up, lifting it with your elbow. Feel the tension in the back of your shoulders.
Repeat on the other hand.
7. Triceps stretch
Walk up to the wall, lift your left elbow up, with your forearm behind your back. Pull the left shoulder blade down.To check that it has actually dropped and will not rise during the stretch, place your right hand below your left armpit.
Repeat on the other side.
8. Biceps stretch
Grasp the door handle, pillar or other support, turn your back to it. Extend your arm with your elbow up and move the body slightly forward.
Repeat with the other hand.
9. Triceps and Shoulders Stretching
This pose allows you to simultaneously stretch the triceps of one arm and the front of the shoulder of the other.Place one hand behind your back from above so that the elbow looks up, and the other from below – the elbow looks to the floor. Try to bring your wrists together behind your back at the level of your shoulder blades.
10. Stretching the extensors of the wrist
Sit on your knees with your hands in front of you so that the backs of your hands touch the floor and your fingers are pointing towards each other. Gently transfer your weight to your arms, stretching your forearms. To enhance the effect, try clenching your fists.
Breast stretching exercises
11.Stretching the chest in the doorway
Walk to the doorway, rest your elbows on the jambs and push your chest forward, stretching your chest muscles.
12. Stretching the chest against the wall
Place your hand on the wall, lower your shoulder and turn in the opposite direction. Repeat with the other hand.
Exercises for stretching the back
13. Stretching the back at the rack
Stand next to a rack, machine or other support, turn your left shoulder to it.With your right hand, grab a stand high over your head, move your pelvis to the right and down, stretching the entire right side of the body.
Repeat the other way.
14. Stretching the muscles of the lower back
Sit on the floor, move your right leg forward, left leg back. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle or slightly more. Place your right hand on the floor and raise your left hand above your head. Pull the left leg down and back, tilt the body forward and twist towards the right leg.
Change your legs.
15. Stretching the extensor muscles of the back
Sit on the floor, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Grasp the lower legs with your hands from the inside, put your wrists on your feet. Lean forward with a round back as low as possible.
16. Child’s pose
Sit on the floor with your buttocks touching your heels. Bend forward, lie on your knees with your stomach and extend your arms.
17. Downward Dog Pose
Get on all fours, then push your pelvis back and up so that your body resembles an angle.The arms and back should be stretched in one line, the knees can be bent, and the heels can be lifted off the floor. The main thing is that the back remains straight, without rounding in the lower back.
18. Hanging extension
Grab a low horizontal bar and hang freely, relaxing your body. Legs should remain on the ground. Relax them, bend your knees slightly.
19. Inverted back stretch
Lie on the floor on your back, arms alongside your body, legs straight. Raise your legs, and then throw them behind your head.Hands rest with elbows on the floor, hands support the lower back. Do not lean on your neck, the fulcrum is your shoulders.
20. Camel Pose
Get on your knees, push your chest up, extending your spine, and then lean back with your hands on your heels. Try to bend in the chest. Do not throw your head back, look up.
21. Upward Dog Pose
Lie on the floor on your stomach, place your hands under your shoulders.Squeeze yourself up, the pelvis rises, your feet remain on the floor. Lower your shoulders, bend in the chest.
22. Standing back bend
Stand straight with your feet together. Raise your arms and bring your palms together over your head. Bend in the chest and tilt the body back. Tighten your buttocks to avoid a strong arch in the lower back.
23. Tilt to the side
Stand straight, raise your arms above your head, lock your fingers into the lock and turn your palms up.Stretch up and bend first to one side and then to the other.
24. Twisting of the lying spine
Lie on the floor on your back, arms spread out to the sides, palms down. Move your pelvis to the left, lift your left leg, bending it at the knee, wrap it behind your right leg and try to put your knee on the floor. Turn your head to the left and relax.
Repeat the exercise on the other side.
Exercises for stretching the buttocks
25. Lying down stretch
Lie on the floor on your back, lift your legs bent at the knees.Place your left ankle on your right knee. Press your right knee against your left to deepen the stretch. Repeat with the other leg.
26. Stretching on all fours
Get on all fours with your right ankle on your left knee. Pull your pelvis back to deepen the stretch. Repeat with the other leg.
27. Seated Stretch
Sit on the floor, stretch your legs forward, straighten your back. Bend one leg at the knee, grab the lower leg with your hands and press it to your chest.The lower leg should be parallel to the floor, the forearms lie on top and press it against the chest, one hand covers the other.
Repeat with the other leg.
28. Pigeon pose
Sit on the floor, bend one leg at the knee at a right angle and move it forward, the other take it back and straighten it. You can lean forward and place your forearms on the floor.
If you find it difficult to do this position on the floor, try placing your foot on a dais.
Stretching exercises for the front of the thigh
29.Lying Quadriceps Stretch
Lie on the floor on your stomach, lift one leg and place your hand on your ankle. Pull your leg to your buttock, being careful not to lift your thigh off the floor. Repeat with the other leg.
30. Stretching the quadriceps on one knee
Stand on one knee, grab the toe of your back leg and bring your heel to your buttock. Tighten your glutes to deepen the stretch. Repeat with the other leg.
31. Stretching the hip flexors
Stand on one knee with both legs bent at a 90 degree angle.The back is straight. Tighten your glutes and move your pelvis forward a little. You should feel tension in the front of your back thigh and groin.
Change your legs.
32. Deep lunge
Take a deep lunge forward. Place your fingers on the floor on either side of the foot. Lower the knee of the straightened leg to the floor. Try to get lower and do not turn your pelvis to the side.
Change your legs.
Exercises to stretch the back of the thigh
33.Stretching the back of the thigh with an expander
Lie on the floor, leave one leg straight on the floor, lift the other. Throw an expander, jump rope or rope over your foot and pull your leg towards you. Change your legs.
34. Standing stretch
Stand up straight and take a step forward. Tilt the body almost to parallel with the floor. If you leave the leg straight, the upper part of the back of the thigh is more stretched, if the leg is slightly bent at the knee, the lower one.
Repeat with the other leg.
35. Incline to the legs
Sit on the floor, stretch your legs straight forward. Bend over to your feet and place your hands on either side of your feet or a little further. To deepen the stretch, you can straighten your back for a few seconds and then bend over again.
36. Tilt to one leg
Sit on the floor, stretch one leg forward, bend the other at the knee and place the foot next to the pelvis. Bend over to a straight leg, grasp the foot with your hands and pull the sock towards you.Try not to round your back.
Repeat with the other leg.
37. Standing bend
Spread your legs wider, toes pointing forward. Lower your torso down, keeping your back straight, until your palms are on the floor.
38. Longitudinal split
Parted into the longitudinal split so that the iliac crests point forward. Place your palms on the floor and support your weight on your hands. Try not to twist your hips and shoulders to the side.
Exercises to stretch the inner thigh
39. Deep squat
Stand next to a rack or machine that you can hold onto. Feet shoulder width apart, toes and knees turned outward. Lower yourself into a deep squat, keeping your back straight.
40. Butterfly against the wall
Sit on the floor with your back straight, fold your legs in front of you, feet to each other. Try to lower your knees to the floor, but do not press on them with your hands. Keep your back straight.
Lie on the floor on your stomach, spread your knees to the sides and bend your legs at a right angle. Try to put your basin on the floor.
42. Frog with a straight leg
Lie on the floor on your stomach, spread your knees to the sides so that your hips are parallel to the floor. Bend one leg at the knee, straighten the other. Try to put your basin on the floor. Repeat with the other leg.
43. Fold forward
Sit on the floor, spread your straight legs wider, and then bend forward.Try to lie on your stomach on the floor, do not bend your knees.
44. Lateral twine
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Spread into the cross twine. Do not pull your pelvis back too much, ideally it should be in line with your knees and feet. Place your palms on the floor, and if the stretch allows, your forearms. Pull your pelvis down towards the floor.
45. Stretch next to the wall
Lie on the floor close to the wall. The body should be perpendicular to it. Spread your legs and let them sink slowly under your weight.Hold this position for 5-10 minutes.
Exercises for stretching the outer side of the thigh
46. Abduction of the thigh
Stand next to a wall, turning your right side to it. Place your right leg behind your left leg in the back and squat down. The left leg bends, the right remains straight and moves farther to the left. The straight body hangs over the left leg.
Repeat the other way.
47. Stretching while standing
Bring your left leg behind the right in front and bend to the left.You can put one hand on your belt, fold your arms over your head or in front of you. The more the body is tilted, the better the muscles stretch.
Exercises for stretching the legs
48. Stretching against the wall
With the toe of your right foot, rest against the wall, take your left one and a half step back. The feet are firmly pressed to the floor, the left leg is straight. Try to reach the wall with your right knee, while the muscles of your left leg will stretch.
Change your legs.
49.Heel wall stretch
Stand up against the wall. Put your right toe on the wall, take your left leg a step and a half back. Bend your left knee, increasing the stretch. Change legs and repeat.
50. Stretching the front of the lower leg
Sit on the floor, stretch your legs straight in front of you.