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The Link Between Anxiety and Exercise


Research is clear that on-and-off anxiety symptoms, as well as diagnosable anxiety disorders, are on the rise. In fact, such an alarming number of people (even children) now deal with anxiety that the condition is being called an “epidemic.”

Just how many people have anxiety?
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 40 million American adults have an anxiety disorder.

What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” While it’s common and considered totally “normal” to feel nervous from time to time, it’s not normal to feel uncontrollably worried or fearful most of the time. This is what life is like for a person with an anxiety disorder — their relationships, performance at work, family obligations and other daily activities all tend to be negatively impacted.
This could be cut, the next paragraph says the same thing with more specificity.

Lifestyle and behaviors that can reduce anxiety symptoms:

  • Relaxation techniques (also called mind-body practices) like deep breathing exercises, yoga and meditation
  • Regular exercise, especially aerobic/cardiovascular exercise, but also other types that the person enjoys
  • Eating a healthy diet, one that includes vitamin B foods, magnesium-rich foods, foods high in calcium and omega-3 foods (like olive oil, nuts and seeds, salmon, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and probiotic foods)
  • Avoiding sleep deprivation, which means getting about 7–9 hours of sleep per night
  • Maintaining a consistent, regular daily routine this includes having a regular sleep/wake cycle, eating regular meals and staying organized
  • Journaling thoughts and worries, along with practicing/writing down things to be grateful for
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake
  • Taking/using essential oils and supplements that support the nervous system, magnesium, a vitamin B complex, amino acids such as GABA
  • Volunteering and socializing


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