Almost everyone has suffered from anxiety symptoms.
People with chronic illnesses are particularly susceptible to anxiety as they worry about their illness and whether they will ever recover. The tremendous impact on their life styles also raises their anxiety level. Prescribed drugs, behavioral therapies and psychotherapy are tools used to combat anxiety, but now there is research showing clearly that exercise, alone, can have a tremendous impact on this anxiety.
Three researchers from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Georgia Ramsey Center assessed whether exercise training will help improve anxiety symptoms among such patients. Two researchers independently studied 2914 patients. They found that, compared with no treatment conditions, exercise training significantly reduced anxiety symptoms.
The largest anxiety improvements resulted from exercise programs lasting no more than 12 weeks, using session durations of at least 30 minutes and an anxiety report time frame greater than the past week. Their conclusion was that exercise training reduces anxiety symptoms among sedentary patients with chronic illnesses.
Armed with this information, exercise can also be used to prevent anxiety and everyone should have exercise built into their weekly regimens.
Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis