How fitness heals Anxiety

When I first began the title of this post I almost put “cures Anxiety”. But this wouldn’t be exactly true, because it doesn’t. Curing Anixety isnt easy, in all honesty I dont think it does cure, its a state of mind you can control and learn to channel. It’s a fighting battle but I have a few ways I have learnt to deal with it, the major one for me is fitness.
At times my anxiety is crippling and so painful I feel like I cant do anything. Theres times it feels like my heads going to explode and I cant deal with it anymore. So when I went to the doctors and said hey help me? and he recommended exercise I didn’t think it would help at all. To try and help myself I did my Fitness Instructor course and studied Sport and Exercise Science, and slowly I started to learn more. My god am I glad I did.
First thing in the morning when I woke up I would go straight to the front room, lay out my mat and turn Blogilates on (link here). I’d spend half an hour blasting out a workout using at home weights and then go straight to make myself a Protein World Slender Blend (Check out my last blog about these!). The effects were immediate, I would wake up stressed with a million thoughts and within half an hour I was calm, full of energy and ready to take on my day. Suddenly I started seeing an improvement on my anxiety. When I woke it would be screaming “STAY IN BED, YOU DONT NEED EXERCISE IT’LL MAKE YOU FEEL WORSE DONT DO IT”. Each morning I stuck my middle finger in the air, got my mat out and worked out again. Some days I felt like I really didnt want too yet still did and felt better after. It was morning medicine for my mind and soul. It was allowing me to connect with my mind, body and soul all to heal my anxiety.
Now I know, somebody will say well I dont have time. What about changing those minutes you sit on your phone endlessly searching facebook? Or the minutes you lie in bed scrolling twitter in the morning? There are five minute home workout videos you can follow on blogilates for when you have no time. You do have time, make it a priority and I promise you will see small changes in yourself.
I want to share some knowledge as a fitness Instructor to prove my point that anxiety and fitness are related scientifically, so please read on.
What is anxiety?

Anxiety “is a negative emotional state that is characterised by feelings of nervousness, apprehension or worry” (Level 3 sport and exercise science BTEC book). This feeling is split into two different categories, state anxiety and trait anxiety. State anxiety is a type of anxiety that is only felt for a short temporary period of time. This type of anxiety only appears if the situation feels threatening leading on to panic attacks. Whereas trait anxiety is seen to be apart of your personality and is shown in how you act in everyday life. This means somebody with trait anxiety will easily become anxious in all situations. For this post I am speaking about state anixety.
What causes anixety?

Anxiety comes along when an individual perceives something as a threat, this response is controlled by the two areas of your nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system controls our “fight or flight” responses. Fight or Flight is a mode our body creates to stop us being hurt, for example, a bear running towards us is a threat therefore our body tells us to run. Anixety can make our fight or flight mode turn on when we dont want it, making us perceive a situation as a threat when its not. When this happens the chemical adrenaline is sent into our system causing us to react to the situation as a threat. The sympathetic nervous system produces different responses to deal with the threat such as:
• An increased heart rate
• Increased breathing rate
• Increase in adrenaline production
• Increased muscle tension
• Dilated pupils
• Slowed down digestion
• Metabolism increase
• A dry mouth
ALL SEEN WITHIN A PANIC ATTACK.
So how does Anxiety decrease when exercising?

When you begin regular exercise your blood pressure decreases, your heart improves, your body becomes healthier, allowing the stress upon it to reduce dramatically. By improving your heath starting from inside, your body will have less stress put upon it. One of the major effects exercise has is releasing endorphins into the body. These are the happy little hormones in your body that make you feel happier and less stressed. These little hormones fight off the cortisol hormones (stress hormone) allowing you to feel less pressuresed and stressed, therefore less feel anxiety. You know when you exercise, meditate or even go for a walk outside and after you feel happier and your head feels clearer? yep thats the work of the endorphins. The effects of this incredible hormone are immediate, once you finish a workout you feel better and happier all down to the endorphin release. If you begin regular exercise, your mind and body will become happier and healthier.
Anixety is a fighting battle always, but for me exercise allows me to clear my mind and connect with my body. It has allowed me to positively change my feelings and learn to control them all while changing my body. I never aim to loose weight or look a certain way, exercise for me is mentally but any physical changes are a bonus.
If you wish to control your thoughts and deal with anxiety I recommended exercise massively. It’s a natural medicine that has massive effects.
if you need any more information or want to know a little more feel free to ask me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/aimeebrowes or twitter www.twitter.com/aimeebrowes
I am more than happy to answer.
Much love x
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6 thoughts on “How fitness heals Anxiety

  1. Robyn Louise says:

    I always found exercise to be the biggest controller of my anxiety. I managed to get of meds and just going to the gym regularly helped my mindset so much. Now I am a new mum, can’t get to the gym and can feel it creeping back in. I must try and find other ways to exercise now and this post has helped me realise that. Thank you x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aimee Browes says:

      Hey! Thankyou for sharing this with me!
      I haven’t been to the gym in over a year as I found at home exercise easier during my recovery period as I could do it in my pjs! Try YouTube videos Blogilates is incredible! She’s so motivating and she’s not like the kinda fitness people you hate watching! Her videos range from 5-30 minutes so even if you do one for 5 minutes it’s a huge step in the right direction!
      I wish you all the best! Let me know how you get on in the future! Have a great day x

      Like

  2. twentysomethingmeltdown says:

    I love this post, I know the whole ‘just take a walk’ is such an unpopular opinion but for me it genuinely does work. It takes the stress away, gets me out the situation and gives me space to clear my head and that in turn helps me when I come back home. Great post and lovely top pic xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jade Mayhead says:

    I have been running for the past month or two, and really haven’t felt it has helped. But without me even realising it has helped so much with my anxiety – I was actually thinking about quitting yesterday! Don’t think I will be doing that now! Thankyou! And great post xo

    Liked by 1 person

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