Exercise & Anxiety: How Getting Active Effects The Brain

We are all aware that a healthy lifestyle is good for our physical health, but did you know it also has a significant impact on our brains too? Our bodies and brains are so incredibly closely linked but this is often forgotten. When anxiety and stress affects the brain, with its many thousands of nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact. Getting active is obviously good for our bodies in a number of ways, but it also has a number of benefits for our brains:

The benefits of exercise on the brain

  • Lowered stress

  • Boosted energy

  • Improved sleep

  • Increased productivity & motivation

  • A sense of confidence and self-esteem

  • Fights depression

  • Improved mood

Scientific studies have provided evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than those living a sedentary lifestyle. Being active may improve anxiety by helping the brain cope better with stress.

Getting active when you have anxiety is not easy for some, I totally understand that, so don’t feel bad if you have to work your way up slowly. It is recommended that adults do 150 minutes of moderate activity every week, which averages at 30 minutes five times a week. This doesn’t have to be anything too intense either - take your dog for a longer walk or check out your local swimming pool. Any exercise is better than none.

Hanna Wright