Fitness Tips

4 Ways Physical Fitness Can Improve Your Anxiety

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. That’s the reality most people need to accept as soon as they hit adulthood. Being an adult means compromising for the sake of others while you tough out the blow. It means not knowing so many things despite their age, so they have no choice but to hope they’re making the right choice.

Naturally, adulthood means differently for every single person out there. But, one thing they might relate to is how fast life goes by. And, since you’re now playing a crucial role in society, you have no choice but to go with it. Although this is what society expects from you, keeping up with everyone else day after day can get exhausting. But, because this ideal is ingrained inside your head, you’ll only end up having one mental health issue after another, and one of them will most likely be anxiety.

Anxiety is a mental health disorder that puts you on edge. Naturally, many things can cause anxiety since it often responds to stress. Therefore, if you’ve been subjected to stress day after day, you’re bound to be exceedingly scared or nervous once you come face-to-face with an inconvenience.

Fortunately, there’s anxiety treatment found on and various mental health institutions. So, if you suffer from anxiety, you can always contact them if it worsens. However, if you want to take things into your own hands and face your anxiety head-on, physical fitness can be extremely helpful in curbing your anxiety. Here’s how it works:

Releases ‘Happy’ Hormones

Even though you have one problem after another thrown your way, none of them are supposed to knock you down completely because what truly affects your mental state is your brain, or, more precisely, the hormones it produces. After all, these hormones are responsible for running different cognitive functions since they act as the brain’s messengers. Once they ‘deliver their message,’ the human body will respond to them, as well as your emotions.

Naturally, since the brain produces hormones, it’s bound to stop if not stimulated since the brain can’t function properly without them. But considering their complexity, emotions require different hormones to be activated. Therefore, if you think that reaching the state of happiness is an easy task, knowing that it takes four hormones to achieve it might change your mind. These hormones are dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.

If you’re wondering why you feel a sense of accomplishment that’s so great, it gives you a ‘high,’ dopamine and endorphins take credit for it. As for serotonin, it regulates your mood, as well as other cognitive functions, such as learning ability and memory. Meanwhile, oxytocin is fundamental in developing trust and empathy for other people.

With physical exercise added to the equation, it can be a key to releasing these happy hormones, especially if you’ve already been in a funk for a long time. After all, the more active your body is, the more stimulated your blood flow is.

Even though you’re working out at home, every training regimen involves milestones to measure your progress. And, with every milestone achieved, the more stimulation your hormones receive since endorphins and dopamine play a significant role in the brain’s reward system. Furthermore, your serotonin and oxytocin levels will be much more regulated, considering you’ve been pushing your body to exert more energy lately.

Serves As Distraction

Anxiety can easily overpower the rest of your thoughts the longer it prevails. After all, fear is an extremely powerful emotion. And, because it’s so powerful, it could influence your mental state for so long that it continues to lurk at the back of your mind constantly. Naturally, that’s not an ideal way to live.

People with anxiety—or any mental disorder—often cope by turning to vices, such as drug abuse or drinking. While they help put your mind to ease much faster, that doesn’t stop them from causing other negative impacts on the rest of your body. With excessive alcohol abusing your liver and illegal medication causing your cognitive functions to deteriorate, it’s safe to say that these coping mechanisms will only be counterproductive when they only worsen your symptoms.

Although it’s easy to be tempted by faster coping mechanisms, they often open up more harmful paths than anything beneficial. Therefore, it’s best to pour your energy into something more positive. And, doing physical activities is one way to instigate positivity in your lifestyle.

Even taking a stroll through your neighborhood will be more helpful since that allows you to look at your environment instead of staying holed up inside your house, surrounded by the four corners of your room. And, it helps that the entire time you’re outside, you also stretch out your limbs while getting your blood flowing.

Encourage Social Interaction

It’s easy to forget that many people also go through the same thing you’re suffering from. Admittedly, not everyone has the same life experiences for you to consider your lives as carbon copies of each other. But, it’s important to remind yourself that there are people who are experiencing similar anxieties as you. Therefore, they might consider doing physical activities to cope as well.

Although you’re not expected to talk about your problems to the first person you see, interacting with different people positively can still be just as helpful. Even something as simple as exchanging a smile or a greeting might lift your mood. Thus, getting out to exercise is highly encouraged to improve your physical health and social life.

Improves Self-Image

Having anxiety means you’re your worst enemy. After all, no amount of insults or negativity from other people will ever get to you unless you allow them to. Therefore, one sign that you’re spinning out of control is once you start obsessing over things that never bothered you before. And, one aspect about you that anxiety loves to attack is how you perceive yourself.

Staying indoors and doing nothing are the last things you’d consider ‘healthy.’ These don’t only cause your brain to deteriorate, but your inactivity also weakens your body. Experiencing both of these simultaneously won’t be doing wonders for your anxiety.

Regular physical activity might contribute to your self-image to prevent them from taking root. After all, even strolling around the neighborhood every day already stimulates the brain and encourages your blood to flow throughout your body. Eventually, you’ll see your exercises paying off once you’ve gained more muscle mass, which improves your looks one step further.


Although doing physical activities might seem like you’re only focusing on your body, it also improves your mental wellbeing, especially if you’re suffering from a mental health problem, like anxiety. After all, exercising is an all-around activity that can benefit every cell of your body. And, considering how much grip anxiety has on one’s life, fighting fire with fire by working out might be just the thing that can improve your anxiety.


We are nutritionist, health writer's, and food bloggers. Check it out our latest health & wellness articles on fitness, diet, and healthy living.

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