How Exercise Prevents Depression
And while it doesn’t ward off anxiety, it can alleviate its symptoms.
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Interestingly, the study also looked at anxiety and found that increased activity did not offer protection from that particular mental disorder—results that Dobrenski says are surprising. It could be that physical activity doesn’t help prevent anxiety from developing but is effective in alleviating it. He adds that the physiology of both exercise and anxiety are similar in activating the fight-or-flight response, so activities that downregulate the nervous system could help calm the nerves.