Regular Exercise Reduces Anxiety

Wednesday 24th February 2010

The recent publication of a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that anxiety could be reduced in people who have certain medical conditions by regular gentle exercise. Anxiety is a key player in many diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and so on, and evidently this is because such diseases can hamper ones life and be a very concerning matter. However, these researchers emphasise that anxiety only adds to the overall impact of the disease.

The study was conducted at the University of Georgia and involved the use of 3,000 patients who had some kind of medical condition and had been involved in 40 very different clinical trials. Using the data from these studies, the researchers appeared to find that by exercising, these patients were in fact reducing their anxiety by 20%, on average. Evidently, there have already been studies that have investigated the role of exercise in depression, but this study is one of the first to really analyse its impact on anxiety. The most beneficial exercise sessions were found to be longer than half an hour, but ones less than this still had beneficial outcomes. However, more interestingly, the exercise programs that lasted between three to twelve weeks were found to be more successful than ones continuing longer than this duration. The researchers believe this could be something to do with participation rates and the ability to stick to shorter exercise programs.

Lead researcher, Matthew Herring, is confident that their findings offer a new hope to many people who are undergoing or are suffering from any kind of medical condition. By participating in physical activities such as walking or weight lifting, they could be significantly helping their recovery time and success over their condition. Rod Dishman who also featured in the study, stresses his hope that doctors support these findings and suggest such use of exercise to their patients who are suffering from both mental and physical diseases.   

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