top of page
Search

Exercise Intensity and Anxiety Relief

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

The last couple years have been difficult to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed strains on supply chains, financial markets, and people’s mental health worldwide. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States affecting more than 40 million adults or roughly 18.1% (adaa.org, n.d.). While most anxiety disorders are traditionally treated with therapy and prescription medication, there is growing evidence to suggest that moderate to intense exercise a few times a week can alleviate symptoms of anxiety even if it’s a chronic disorder.

The University of Gothenburg conducted a study involving 286 people with anxiety syndrome with half of those patients having lived with anxiety for at least 10 years (University of Gothenburg, 2021). The treatment groups were broken up into either a moderate group with a goal heart rate of 65% of their max or an intense exercise group with a goal heart rate of 75% of their max. The program was designed for 12 weeks with 60-minute sessions, 3 times per week for a total of 36 workouts.

At the end of the 12-week testing period, most individuals in the testing groups went from a baseline of moderate- high anxiety to low anxiety. Specifically, participants in the moderate intensity program saw their anxiety improve by a factor of 3.62 while members of the high intensity group saw their anxiety improve by a factor of 4.88 which is huge (University of Gothenburg, 2021).

Based on this data, it safe to assume that as exercise intensity increases, symptoms of anxiety decrease. Exercising just a few hours a week could potentially provide drastic and tangible relief in people who experience moderate to severe anxiety symptoms.

Mental health is an area of physical wellbeing that is often overlooked or brushed off as being minor but hopefully, as more of these types of studies come out, people can begin to become aware of their own mental state and take action to be able to live as healthy of a life as possible.

University of Gothenburg. "Anxiety effectively treated with exercise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211109095348.htm>.

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Should you eat before exercise?

Should you eat before exercising? Long story short, it depends on your goals and the type of exercising you plan on doing. If your goal is to burn the most amount of fat during exercise then yes, crea

Health span vs Lifespan

Health span vs lifespan, what’s the difference? Lifespan is defined as the length of time a person is alive; comparatively, health span is generally defined as the length of time a person is alive and

Fartlek Running

Fartlek Training is a great way to push your limits of speed and endurance in running. Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning “speed play,” (Dictionary.com) and is incredibly simple to incorporate into you

bottom of page