Anxiety and depression are problems that many people face every day. But the good news is that you can cure them. With regular physical activity, you can reduce your anxiety, depression, stress, and symptoms of other mental illnesses.

Mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder affect over 10 percent of the U.S. population. And while medication, therapy, and understanding of the effects of our lifestyle choices can go a long way toward treating these disorders, being more physically active is one of the best ways to get more out of your brain naturally. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” neurotransmitters that help you enjoy feelings of happiness and relaxation. In turn, this reduces your likelihood of feeling sad and depressed. So, make a plan and commit to getting out there and moving your body.

Exercise helps cure anxiety and depression

Exercise can be a great way to deal with anxiety. If you’re feeling anxious, then exercise can be a great way to distract you. It can help to refocus your mind, so you’re not dwelling on the anxiety and to get your blood pumping, it can help to relieve stress. If you have social anxiety or you’re worried about talking to people, then exercising in public places can be a good way to overcome those worries.

7 Best Exercises for Anxiety and Depression

Running

Running is also a form of exercise that does wonders for the body, but like other forms of exercise, there are risks involved. As a runner, you always need to be on the lookout for foot injuries. It is an activity that puts you at risk for a variety of injuries. The most common foot injuries in runners are plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis.

Yoga

The origin of yoga is one of the world’s great mysteries. However, there is evidence that yoga did exist in India thousands of years ago. From a physical standpoint, yoga is a type of strength and conditioning program that places considerable emphasis on stretching and relaxing the muscles. Yoga became popular in the West in the 1970s and has become particularly well-known in the United States thanks to the influence of celebrity yogis like Madonna and Jennifer Aniston. In the United States, yoga is primarily practiced for its health benefits, but it is used for other purposes as well, such as martial arts training, meditation, and physical fitness.

Hiking

Hiking is a sport in which the feet are the primary mode of transportation. It can be as simple as walking or jogging with others or as extreme as climbing mountains. It offers a great alternative workout for runners, walkers, bikers, and swimmers.

Weightlifting

Lifting weights can help build muscle and burn fat, and it’s an excellent strength-building activity. However, some exercises may be more beneficial than others for weight loss, and deadlifts, squats, and other compound exercises are superior. Try to incorporate these exercises into your strength routine, and remember to warm up and cool down with stretches and foam rolling.

Take Long Walks

Long walks are a great way to get exercise and fresh air, but if you begin walking without a solid plan in mind, you could find yourself spending far more time walking than exercising.

Swimming

Swimming is an excellent exercise, but many people avoid it out of fear of not being able to do it. The fear can be based on real concerns, but often times it’s a fear of being judged for not being able to swim well. The truth is that swimming can be intimidating to even the most seasoned swimmer.

Swimming is a fantastic exercise for people of all ages. The buoyancy of the water allows for heavy resistance, which deepens the muscle work on the body, allowing for a full workout without weight. For the deep end, it is a great cardiovascular exercise, but for elderly or pregnant women, it offers a low-impact alternative.

Dancing

Dance is physical therapy. The exercises in dance use and involve all the muscles in your body. It also improves coordination, agility, and flexibility—building self-esteem and self-confidence. It reduces stress, boosts energy, improves cardiovascular fitness, and helps you fight chronic diseases. Health experts often recommend dancing to seniors.

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to beat anxiety. It can release chemicals in the brain and body that help fight off depression. Exercise also improves mood, boosts self-esteem and self-confidence, and boosts productivity.

Exercise is a window into your body’s well-being. When you don’t exercise, your mind is telling you that something is wrong with your body. When you exercise, your mind is telling you that your body is working for you. If you don’t have any anxiety or depression, it won’t cure you. If you have anxiety or depression, it will help relieve the symptoms and keep you from relapsing.