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Exercise Can Help with Your Anxiety

Teen anxiety – over 25% of 13 to 18-year-olds have an anxiety disorder. Moreover, it’s one of the most common mental health concerns found in teens. Though anxiety is a protective mechanism to help increase mental alertness, too much anxiety or anxiety that never goes away and gets worse over time can interfere with your daily function. If you’re curious or concerned about your anxiety level, take the free Heads Up Checkup symptom checker. The results can give immediate insight into whether you should seek help for your anxiety.

It’s vital to treat anxiety disorders as soon as possible to decrease the negative impact on your mental health, academic, and social functioning.

In addition to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), exercise is a great therapy technique for anxiety. In fact, exercise is nature’s anti-anxiety remedy. It releases endorphins, which play a role in regulating mood and relaxation. Best of all, exercise can eliminate the feelings of stress, a big factor in anxiety disorders.

Find exercises you will enjoy

When incorporating exercise into your daily/weekly routine, it should be one that you enjoy. If you don't know what you like, then try out a few. From team sports such as baseball, basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse to individual sports such as tennis, swimming, running, and yoga—there are many options to choose from. In addition, try finding sports and/or clubs offered at the school so that the exercise is also a social experience.


Yoga is a great exercise routine to help you decrease anxiety levels. Yoga can help you develop meditation, focus, and deep breathing techniques. In addition to building a strong and flexible core, yoga can help you learn relaxation techniques. Studies have shown that those who participate in yoga have significant reductions in anxiety, depression, anger, and neurotic symptoms. There are many types of yoga classes you can choose, or search the web for at-home yoga videos to do in the living room.


Getting active outside is another great way to help boost your mood. From day-long hikes to an hour-long trail loop, there are many ways to get off of the couch and out exploring nature. This helps give you a much-needed break from the stress of school and social life.


If you’re looking for an exercise to help improve muscle strength, consider swimming. Like running, you can set your own pace as well as build up your endurance. Plus, it’s a change of pace and a different exercise environment.


In addition to improving your cardio health, biking is a great option to build self-esteem. A study published in the International Journal of Exercise Science found that when people with sedentary lifestyles started biking and exercising, their self-esteem improved after just 10 sessions. Plus, biking in nature has the added benefit of boosting your overall mood. Research local areas where you can take your next bike ride. Remember to wear a helmet!


Dancing is another great exercise to reduce anxiety! There are many forms of dance you can participate in—from ballroom to hip-hop, see what classes your local community center is offering. Other health benefits of dance include: better coordination, increased aerobic fitness, improve heart and lung conditions, weight management, increased physical confidence, improved mental functioning, and better social skills.

If possible, try to participate in exercise activities with friends or participate in activities where you can be social. The connection you build can often help to counter the anxiety you feel. Regular exercise not only helps you with anxiety but can also help you sleep better at night, which directly impacts your anxiety levels the next day.

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