One of the biggest things which has surprised me the most, in all my years of doing one-on-one training and coaching, is the number of people who are challenged by general anxiety and panic attacks.

Once I realized how common this issue was/is – I felt the need to explore it further and see how it affects the average person on a daily basis – and what implications it has on one’s health and fitness.

Most of the symptoms are in the list below – although there are other, more severe, symptoms which I have not included here:

- Dizzy spells leading to panic and episodes of fear
– Tightness in throat and chest- shortness of breath
– Racing heart with tingling sensations
– Sense of no control over life/daily matters
– Hot flushes followed by waves of anxiety
– Obsessive worries and unwanted thoughts
– Not feeling connected to what is going on around you
– Overwhelming fear that the anxiety will push you over the edge?

One thing is for sure – the people who made proper exercise a consistent part of their life, experienced a significant reduction in anxiety and panic attacks.

I believe 2 of the main reasons for this are:

(1) you are “in control” of your body, mind and health when you exercise regularly – and any way you can be “in control” is a way to reverse feelings of NOT being in control…

(2) Exercise is a natural stress reliever – and stress is a major underlying factor in anxiety/panic disorders. So, when you reduce stress through exercise you reduce one of the main ingredients of anxiety/panic attacks.

This is why some of the most successful anti-anxiety programs include exercise as one of the critical elements of their program. One of the best-known programs which includes ‘exercise’ in it’s protocol can be reviewed here: No Anxiety – No Panic

When we speak of exercise in this area – there isn’t “one right choice”. There are many – and it truly depends on the client. Here are some options:

– Yoga (there are many types and levels of Yoga to choose from)
– Pilates (there are many types and levels of Pilates to choose from)
– Martial Arts (many choices here too)
– Kick-boxing
– Cross-Training
– Atlas Bodyweight Training (that’s me :-)
– Swimming
– Cardio-Dance

There are more, no doubt – but you get the idea, right?

In addition to the above 2 reasons why exercise is a key component in anti-anxiety/panic reduction programs is another reason…. Exercise has a beneficial effect on various elements and hormones throughout your body.

These elements are extremely powerful and work in ways which are still being studied to be better understood. Some call them ‘internal relaxants’, ‘mood enhancers’ or ‘brain balancers’.

Regardless of what we know them as, or call them – one this is certain… The cause and effect relationship has been proven time and time again: Exercise has positive effects on stress, anxiety and panic attacks.

If you feel you need help in this area – and also believe in the exercise component, then take a look at the demo video at the panic-away website: No Anxiety – No Panic

I think you’ll appreciate all the info there….

If you know someone who can benefit from this, just forward this link to them – they’ll thank you for it.

Your trainer forever – your trainer for life,

Joey Atlas

M.S. – Exercise Physiology

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