What kind of physical activity is the best for reducing anxiety?
In this week's podcast we're responding to a listener question "What kind of physical activity is the best for reducing anxiety?"
Notes from the show: What kind of physical activity is the best for reducing anxiety?
Any physical activity that you enjoy. Walking, swimming, tennis, soft martial arts.
If you enjoy it, you're more likely to keep doing it.
- Walking in nature with awareness of your surroundings
- Restorative yoga
The key for physical activity for overcoming anxiety is that it should be immersive, that means as mindful and aware as possible.
Don't overdo it
The Ayurvedic rule for exercise is only use 50% of your capacity. In practical terms, that means exercising until you're slightly out of breath, then stop and rest. Don't exercise to the point of exhaustion, especially if you are looking to exercise for anxiety relief.
Also to take into consideration if you choose to do sport that elevates your heart rate that can, for some people, trigger feelings of anxiety. It isn't necessarily that the sport is inappropriate, but rather that the mind might associate an elevated heart rate with stress or anxiety attacks.
Competitive sport can increase adrenaline if you are more focused on winning than moving your body.
Walking with awareness is ideal.
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