Conversations from the Studio this week explored the subject of anxiety and physical exercise.
The conversation explored the benefits of exercise on the anxious brain with the added benefit of social interaction, namely our Strong Women classes.
Self identified anxiety was something some of our members spoke about experiencing which often prevented them from maintaining a physical exercise regime in the past as well as prevented them from trying new classes due to fear of the unknown.
Exploring this topic further, one study showed that people with anxiety tend to be more sedentary and do less intense forms of physical activity, if any (health.harvard.edu). This is not ideal as moving around and being active is quite possibly the single best non medical solution to treat anxiety (health.harvard.edu).
How exactly does exercise help ease anxiety? health.harvard.edu sates that by engaging in exercise it;
diverts you from the very thing you are anxious about.
decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s anxious feelings.
changes brain chemistry
activates frontal regions of the brain which are responsible for executive function, which helps control the amygdala, our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival.
builds up resources that bolster resilience against stormy emotions (health.harvard.edu).
According to the health.harvard.edu article when it comes to treating anxiety the more exercise the better. Whilst there is not a lot of research to suggest any one exercise is the best for anxiety it is believed that people will experience improvement no matter which type of activity they tried (health.harvard.edu). Most important thing to consider is to find an activity that you enjoy so you keep attending and engaging with it.
To maximise the benefits of introducing exercise to your life for anxiety is to include the added benefit of working out with a friend or in a group. By working out with others you gain the added benefit of social support. This is something that we discussed in the Strong Women classes this week. By having likeminded individual in the same space, working towards their individual goals allowed casual conversations to develop and progress. Sometimes these conversations are passionate discussions about topics of interest or discussions around everyone’s favourite tv shows. This causal socialisation as you work your muscles contributes to a relaxed mindset as you leave the studio. You get a safe and secure environment to socialise with likeminded people whilst building your muscles and strength. Everyone can attend a gym and do their own thing. But by attending group classes whilst also maintaining your own weightlifting journey allows you the benefits of both worlds.
Come in and explore for yourself the beautiful and natural community New Wave Fitness has developed while engaging in a Strong Women class.