National Stress Out Week Promotes Benefits of Fitness on Stress and Anxiety
Our lives are often filled with stress, even when the economy isn't riding a bumpy rollercoaster and a national election hasn't consumed our thoughts. Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at one time or another.
During National Stress Out Week, November 9-15, the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) encourages people to take time to relax and unwind and discover the difference between everyday stress and an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a normal reaction that lets you know that something isn't right. It keeps you from harm's way and prepares you to act quickly in the face of danger. However, for the 40 million U.S. adults with an anxiety disorder, this anxiety is persistent, irrational, and overwhelming-and it can interfere with daily life.
This year National Stress Out Week highlights the benefits of physical activity in reducing stress. Regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve sleep and self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Science has also provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people.
That's why exercise is an integral part of every treatment program recommended by adaa president and ceo jerilyn ross, ma, liCSW. "It's one of the first things I tell patients," she says. "People may feel powerless in terms of home life, finances, or politics, but they're in control when they exercise."
Visit www.adaa.org/stressoutweek to find out how to manage stress and anxiety, stay mentally and physically fit during National Stress Out Week and the rest of the year, and learn more about anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia), and specific phobias.
Reprinted with the permission of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
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