The Pandemic hit us hard and left many of us with high anxiety and depression. My best form of therapy is fighting anxiety with fitness.
Fighting Anxiety with Fitness
If you remember a while ago, I talk about here in this blog post about my mental health and fighting post-partum depression. More than 40 million Americans struggle with some form of anxiety and depression. I have an ongoing struggle with anxiety and I want to share my favorite ways to fight it with fitness.
Whether it is Hot Yoga or just a Power Flow, Yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety while moving your body. There is something about the challenge with every class and every move, always pushing yourself to stretch deeper and reach longer. Yoga gives us a way to clear our minds, find the root of what is bothering us. I find myself laying down after a great class, with tears in my eyes because I’m left speechless with my emotions. If you don’t have a local class, YouTube is a great resource for free videos to practice at home.
I actually did my first barre class a few weeks ago and let me tell you, there are muscles in my body that I had no clue I was missing out on! I walked away feeling great, sweaty and ready for more! Barre is a form of Ballet with small movements like pulsing in a pliet. You learn to use your own body weight and you hit the deep muscles. Each class is so challenging, but I always feel amazing when I leave!
Pilates is very similar to Barre and Yoga mentioned above. You’re using a majority of your body weight to hold positions while managing muscle control. Pilates uses small isolated movements to train deeper muscles. Just like Barre and Yoga, you can find so many resources online if you don’t have a local class to attend.
There are great programs out there (Couch to 5K) to get started with walking and running. One week of walking can lead to small runs and all of a sudden you’re training for a half marathon! I love running because all you need is good music and a good pair of shoes. The way our body can hit the pavement and get moving feels so great to release anxiety and emotions.
Weight training (aka Strength Training) can be a little intimidating at first. The weight rack, barbells, kettleballs, totally overwhelming! This form of fitness helps build and preserve lean body mass which helps metabolism and physical benefits. I have days where going to a gym is not an option, so I choose yoga or pilates at home. But the days I can get to the gym and use weights, I leave feeling so strong and I’m able to clear my mind from anxiety and chaos.
Whatever form of fitness you choose just know it’s benefiting your mental health. Our lives can become so busy, add in children, pets and a full-time job. Everyone is fighting a different battle with anxiety and depression, let’s find a fitness routine together!