Feeling worried, fearful or uneasy? That’s anxiety in a nutshell. Anxiety can be a reaction to stress, but it can also occur without the presence of any significant stressors. Regardless of the cause, anxiety can produce physical and psychological symptoms including stomach upset, headache, dizziness, sleep dysfunction, fatigue and muscle tension – and that’s just for starters.
The good news is if you’re already exercising (particularly resistance exercise), then you’re putting a dent on anxiety without even knowing it. Why? Because a 16-study review involving nearly 1,000 participants suggests resistance exercise helps reduce anxiety, and according to the lead study author, the positive impact is comparable to what could be achieved with medication or psychotherapy.
What’s resistance exercise? Basically, it’s any exercise that requires your muscles to contract: doing a push-up / squat / etc., lifting a weight (free weights or weight machines), or even doing flexible band exercises that involve muscle contraction. Now what’s the really good news? You can do resistance exercise at a gym, at your home, or just about anywhere in between! Who knew reducing anxiety could get you fit simultaneously? Your doctor tell you more about the benefits of resistance exercise and outline an exercise program specific to your health and fitness needs.