The Benefits of Physical Activity for Anxiety and Panic

There are countless benefits of regular physical activity. For one, it can help you deal with anxiety and panic problems. Find out everything you need to know about it in this article!
The Benefits of Physical Activity for Anxiety and Panic

Last update: 05 August, 2021

The benefits of physical activity on anxiety and panic attacks are countless. This is especially good to know because these are unfortunately common conditions in today’s world.

The fast rhythm of modern life and our inordinate drive for success make it so that the only possibility to sustain it is to wrap ourselves in an anxiogenic syndrome that’s dangerous. Consequently, we must look for healthy buffering factors for anxiety and stress.

Let’s take a closer look.

The benefits of physical activity on anxiety and panic

Regular physical activity contributes to mood improvement and increases the feeling of well-being. Therefore, those who are anxious must exercise.

A study by Dr. Canan on the relationship between physical activity and anxiety concludes that exercising can reduce the level of state anxiety. That is the anxiety reaction experienced in a specific and limited situation.

Likewise, other research conducted by a team from the University of Oslo in Norway indicates that regular exercise can reduce the levels of general anxiety. Especially those linked to biological and personality factors, typical of people predisposed to be more anxious, impressionable, with a tendency to overestimate risks and maintain a high level of alertness.

Concerning panic attacks, many people with this disorder fear the symptoms that follow them. In fact, they’re hypervigilant to any small variation in their heart rate, sweating, breathing, etc.

A woman running.

Biological benefits of physical activity in anxiety and panic attacks

We already know that physical activity improves the regulation of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems by influencing the autonomic nervous system. At least this is what research from Universidad de Guayaquil, Ecuador suggests. This improvement may increase the body’s ability to modulate its reaction to environmental demands.

Furthermore, this study conducted by Universidad de Costa Rica shows that exercise promotes a long-term increase in the levels of serotonin (the neurotransmitter of well-being). The one involved in the body’s response to stress. This is because the increase in serotonin levels at the brain level can improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Also, physical activity contributes to the stimulation of the pituitary gland, involved in the production of endorphins. These hormones are like internal morphine and linked to neurotransmitter functions. They’re part of the regulation of pain and the feeling of well-being.

Psychological benefits of physical activity on anxiety and panic

As far as psychological mechanisms are concerned, regular exercise improves mood. Also, it could be helpful in patients who experience insomnia according to this study conducted by a team from the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil.

Exercise increases the feeling of strength, security, and control over yourself and the environment. In this respect, it contributes to a better perception of self-ability.

A weekly physical activity can optimize self-esteem since changes in the body contribute to improving body image. They also promote feelings of greater mastery of skills and physical ability. It’s important to choose those that are enjoyable and pleasurable to want to do them regularly.

The prescription of physical activity in patients with panic disorders has several benefits. Not only because of the traditional virtues but also because, strategically, self-marginalized panicky patients have to get out of their homes. Thus, physical activity is a way to socialize with other people, either in open places or in gyms.

The idea is for the person to be more social and get out of their seclusion. This activates their endorphins and has a positive impact on their body.

Two people doing physical activity.

Connect with yourself through exercise

Everyone must allocate enough time to exercise. Physical activity shouldn’t be ignored because it’s very important. However, most people seldom realize this, unfortunately.

Many people walk to work because it’s close by while others just go shopping for the same reason. However, it’s never about the exercise, really.

There’s nothing wrong with these activities, it’s just that you must give exercise its righteous place in your life: it’s a moment just for you, and that’s the goal.

As you can see, it’s important to connect with the earth, the music in your headphones, or the sound of nature. All of these help to relieve stress.

In fact, to speak of physical activity is to speak about body language and connection. It makes it possible to advance and develop multiple personal resources, improve aesthetics, health, self-esteem, and basically maintain peace of mind. You must connect with yourself by being able to detect what’s good for you, and exercise helps do just that!

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