So please do me a favour and find some time to exercise or do physical activity in your day. Today. Please. (a short 3 to 5 minute walk counts!)
Exercise Or Physical Activity Is Important For 2 Reasons:
- Research has shown that exercise/physical activity can support our immune system
- Exercise is proven to support our mental health, especially when we are anxious
Did You Know This About Exercise & Physical Activity?
- Having an active lifestyle reduces the incidence of communicable (e.g., bacterial and viral infections) and non-communicable diseases (e.g., cancer), implying that our immune competency is enhanced by regular exercise or physical activity.
- Exercise and physical activity can boost our mental health (during this anxious time it’s more important than ever to keep our minds clear and focused).
A Quick Info Piece About Anxiety …
Anxiety is something we all feel, at some point, in some way or another in our lives. It may look and feel slightly different for everyone. And the ways to manage the symptoms will be different for everyone.
The body’s response is having the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis rev up or shift into high gear.
When you’re preparing to do something exciting and fun, it’s great. It sharpens your attention so you can rise to the challenge. Completely normal.
But if you worry when there’s no real threat, to the point where you can’t function normally, that’s an anxiety disorder.
Now The Connection About Exercise / Physical Activity And Anxiety
By raising our heart rate and our breathing in the context of exercise, we learn that these physical signs don’t necessarily lead to an anxiety attack.
We become more comfortable with our body being aroused, and we don’t automatically assume that the arousal is noxious to ourselves.
We use exercise to combat and reduce the symptoms of anxiety, and give a better place in which to be. In the meantime, your level of overall health improves, in your journey to minimize the anxiety trait. Over time, your mind recognizes that the symptoms don’t always spell doom and that you can survive. You’re reprogramming the mindful misinterpretation.
How Exercise Helps … (Here Is The Ultra-Scientific Stuff!)
- By using the muscles, the body breaks down fat molecules in the blood stream to fuel them by getting the free fatty acids to compete with tryptophan to get a ride on our transport proteins. This brings up the concentration level in the blood stream. To equalize, tryptophan pushes through the blood brain barrier, and is used as a building block for serotonin (feel good hormone).
- BDNF (a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors) is also released with exercise and physical activity and increases levels of serotonin, which enhances our sense of safety.
- Moving the body also triggers the release of GABA, which is the brain’s major inhibitory neurotransmitter (and the primary target for most anti-anxiety medications), which interrupts the obsessive feedback loop within the brain.
- When our heart starts beating more, its muscle cells produce a peptide molecule that puts the brakes on our hyper-aroused state.
Ok, So Now What? (My Thoughts … )
There is a connection between how active you are, what you do for exercise and physical activity and how anxious you may feel.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious, try squeezing in 15-20 minutes of exercise or physical activity and see how you feel after. Hey, if that feels like too much time, reduce it and go for 5 to 10 minutes.
Ok, with doing any exercise or physical activity it is also important to stay safe and more so now, if you are doing exercise while in self-isolation. We are all different and all have different physical activity tolerances.
- If you feel a bit nervous about starting an exercise program, as this is all new to you …
- If you have a chronic health condition and know exercise is good for you, but have no access to an exercise facility or gym …
- If you are in self-isolation, it does not mean to stop exercising, but need some accountability/motivation/a guide …
I will be here for you as your guide with the expertise and education to help you stay healthy, while working with you based on your current health and existing condition.
I will be have a telehealth and online training platform available for you within the next 7 days to help you start your journey, make sure the exercises are appropriate, and be able to maintain progress.
Because what is important is your health, your well-being.
Committed to your health,
CEO & Chief Medical Exercise Specialist @ the Other Pain Clinic Inc.™