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Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Exercise

Written by sshowalter, maria_rn, ColleenO.

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Increasing one's level of exercise provides a wide variety of benefits. Besides enhancing strength and endurance and improving physical attractiveness, exercise is thought to enhance overall health as well as reduce symptoms in a number of specific ailments. However, while the many benefits of exercise appear self-evident, they can be quite difficult to prove in a scientific sense. The primary problem comes down to this: it is difficult, if not impossible, to design a double-blind study of exercise. Perhaps, however, proof in this way is not needed.

Effect of Exercise on Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Regular physical activity may also help to reduce anxiety. Some good options include brisk walking, swimming, and strength training.

In addition to altering brain chemicals (which are often involved in Generalized Anxiety Disorder) exercise can change other physiological and psychological factors as well: exercise can help relive stress, fight off free radicals, generally keep the body functioning well, and make you feel better about yourself. Plus, when approached moderately, there are few potential side effects, so try adding some regular physical activity into your routine - you may find that it helps you more than you had anticipated!

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It is important to pick a type of exercise and durations that are compatible with your physical health. If you have a serious health condition, consult with your physician before starting an exercise program.

A health condition or injury may prevent you from engaging in certain types of exercise such as jogging or bike riding but walking. Gentler forms of movement such as stretching or yoga may still be safe and beneficial options.

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