To Fight Anxiety, do Sports!
Table of Contents
Unlike stress, which is a reaction linked to an unusual or aggressive situation or environment, which we believe we cannot cope with because we lack the necessary resources, anxiety is a deeper feeling of insecurity and fear, the prolongation from stress for no reason. Sport is the most natural solution to alleviate anxiety. The secretion of endorphins (known as “happiness hormones” by runners because they cause euphoria) creates a feeling of well-being during and after a sports workout. Thanks to this, the practice of a sport is a very effective method to combat anxiety. What sport should you choose and how should you start practicing it? Domyos gives you some keys so that you feel good physically and mentally.
HOW SHOULD I CHOOSE A SPORT AGAINST ANXIETY?
Just choose a sport that you enjoy! Although it is not easy to choose the right sport when you have an anxious nature. Anxiety can cause great demotivation or acquire unsuspected proportions due to lack of self-confidence and guilt when the sports goals set are not achieved. Instead, the satisfaction of practicing regular physical activity can restore self-confidence and lead to a state of physical and mental relaxation. Different studies have shown that anxious subjects need 10 to 12 weeks of physical activity to see the positive effects (30 to 40 minutes at moderate intensity, that is, at 60 or 70% of maximum heart rate, MHR = 220 – age + or – 10 keystrokes).
Or put another way, when the anxious person has thought about a physical activity that he likes, he should not overestimate her abilities so as not to become unmotivated. The chosen sport must not become an obligation, but must be a means to regain awareness of yourself and your own body, to gain confidence.
CARDIO-TRAINING AND AEROBIC ACTIVITIES ARE THE BEST ANSIOLYTICS
Aerobic exercises, practiced regularly, have great advantages: reduction of cardiovascular risks, regulation of blood glucose levels, improvement of sleep quality and reduction of anxiety. These activities are better known as cardio-training and include the following practices: rowing, treadmill and walking, elliptical bike, steppers, jump rope, circuit-training, etc … In addition, these sports stimulate the secretion of endorphins , which reduce pain, increase the sensation of pleasure and reduce stress. Finally, it must be taken into account that fractional training or interval training (another way of doing aerobic exercises) are also good to combat anxiety, since they allow to develop cardiac function, increase aerobic power (training example: 30 seconds of exertion at high intensity and then 30 seconds of exertion at low intensity, and repeat between 6 and 8 times) and mitigate the anxious nature of a person.
Gentle Activities for Better Anxiety Control
Breathing is a fundamental element that we tend to neglect too much. Being aware of your own breathing and controlling it is one of the secrets to feeling good, and it also allows you to have better control of your body. Often times, to achieve the synchronization of both the best is the gentle gymnastics. Qi Gong and Tai Chi, for example, work on the sequencing of movements and their fluidity, and in this way allow a better flow of energies. If performed slowly, awareness of the gestures and control of the body lead to a state of absolute relaxation. The control of oneself and of thought, through the concentration that these activities impose, allow to increase confidence and better manage the things that happen to us in life. Yoga is also very effective in trying to achieve better mental and physical balance.
Bottom line: 30 to 40 minutes of physical activity a day for at least 10 to 12 weeks can be a true rebirth. Attention: sport can only be a substitute for therapeutic prescriptions in the medium or long term. At first, it is a complement for better anxiety management and then it allows its total attenuation.
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