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Physical activity and reducing stress and anxiety

Naseerah Nanbhai | naseerahnanabhai@gmail.com
17 February 2023 | 13:00 PM CAT
1 min read

Photo Credit: Provided

A study conducted in January 2023, revealed that mental health was both a motivator and barrier to physical activity, in the post pandemic world. While many people try to exercise to reduce stress and anxiety, they often become more stressed and anxious when they don’t have the time or strength to exercise.

The increase in stress levels and uptick in anxiety and depression symptoms correlate with a decrease in exercise minutes. In a cruel, vicious cycle, this decrease in physical activity makes stress and mental health symptoms worse, keeping many feeling kinds of trapped.

It is possible to dig oneself out of this hole, while it may not be easy, it definitely is worth it. It involves reframing your exercising mentality to reduce stress and anxiety, in ways such as:

·       Reminding yourself that some exercise is better than none – especially if you only have a few minutes.

·       Cutting back on intensity, which may involve going for a walk instead of your usual bootcamp.

·       Move a little each day— go for a short walk.

·       Stand and move in between extended periods of sitting or laying down

·       Book movement time like you used to book studio time; block it off in your calendar

Reframing your mindset is important, as much as we may think that adding in exercises will drain us of our energy and create a more stressful, busy mind, it actually will not.

Even just 15 minutes of exercise a day can help you feel more alive, reduce tension and clear your mind. Consider it like a physical cup of coffee- an energy booster!


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