If you’ve ever had a panic attack then you know you’ll do almost anything to avoid ever having another one ever again. They’re scary. They make you feel out of control. It’s actually quite common for people to begin feeling anxious about having another panic attack. This residing fear can drastically affect quality of life.
There are many treatments for panic attacks including medication and therapy. However, one thing that’s commonly recommended for panic attacks and anxiety attacks is exercise. Here’s why:
Exercise helps optimize your body’s systems. When you exercise you release hormones into your body. These hormones create a sense of well being and calm. They in fact, alter your brain chemistry in a positive way. This alteration can mean fewer panic attacks and depending on the case, may mean you don’t suffer another panic attack.
Exercise helps your body manage stress. Scientists and the medical community are not sure what exactly causes a person to have a panic attack. They in fact believe there are many things that contribute to an attack including predisposition, habits, stress and overall health. When you exercise you improve your health and your body’s ability to manage stress. In short, exercise helps to eliminate two of the potential causes for panic attacks.
What Kind of Exercise and how Much?
Most people want to quantify exercise. They want to know how much exercise they must do to get rid of panic attacks and for how long. Let’s be completely honest here and say that exercise may not cure your panic attacks. There are many reasons why they may be happening. What exercise can do is help you reduce them and possibly eliminate them.
Now to the what kind of exercise and how much question…there really is no right or wrong answer. Simply moving your body each day is important. A general rule of thumb is to take 10,000 steps a day. That’s the equivalent of walking 5 miles and you probably already walk around two to three miles a day so you don’t have to add much. You can add ten minutes of walking to your lunch break or walk to the coffee shop instead of driving.
If you can’t get 10,000 steps in each day, then spend 30 minutes moving your body. Stretch, do yoga, swim, dance, jump rope, or ride your bike. Do whatever makes you feel good. When you enjoy what you’re doing, adding it to your day won’t be difficult.
Is exercising a cure for panic attacks. Not necessarily. But it can help you manage stress and anxiety, improve your overall health, and improve your mindset. All of which, help reduce and maybe even eliminate panic attacks.