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3 Key Ways That Exercise Can Help You Manage Your Anxiety

A group of smiling friends work out together at the KC wellness center

Although some stress is part of daily life, there are many people who live with extremely high levels of anxiety. Side effects of anxiety lead to numerous kinds of mental and physical issues, such as insomnia and stomach issues. Estimates are that over 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorders, making it the most common psychiatric illness in the United States. 

Since multiple studies show that exercise can reduce anxiety even better than many medications, it makes sense to find a KC wellness center and exercise your way to better mental clarity and physical health. At Woodside, we offer the right exercise opportunities to help get you on your way! Let’s look at some reasons to begin today:



Research indicates that although exercise cannot cure depression, it does ease the symptoms. Even exercising for 30 minutes three times a week can provide significant relief from symptoms

of depression, and evidence suggests that the benefits from exercising may last longer than those from medications. Exercise produces endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act like natural painkillers, and it also improves sleep. 

According to Johns Hopkins sleep research, people with insomnia are ten times more likely to develop depression, and 75% of those with depression have sleep issues (either falling asleep or staying asleep). Researcher Patrick H. Finan, Ph.D., stresses that lack of sleep leads to “difficulties regulating emotions” and not sleeping enough also lessens the amount of “restorative slow-wave sleep” our bodies receive. Learn the best choices you can make to reduce your stress level at our KC wellness center. 


We would love to show you how our Yoga Studio at Woodside can help you exercise while also meditating to relax as you begin working out any issues of anxiety you may be dealing with in your life. Physical strength, flexibility and mental health benefits come from this centuries-old practice. Woodside offers over 30 yoga classes a week with class times to fit your schedule. Classes are available at different experience levels to meet your individual desired benefit and the challenge level you prefer, everything from Restorative Yoga to Power Yoga and several levels between. 



Anxiety is linked to an increased heart rate, and high heart rates increase a variety of potential medical issues. Aerobic exercise, even mild to moderate, can help in many ways.  When thinking of your heart rate, it may seem strange to focus on exercise since activity like that increases the heart rate, but beginning an exercise routine improves your overall health and your heart health improves as it begins to work more efficiently. 

The result of exercise is that your resting heart rate will decrease. Improved heart function that comes from aerobic activity is associated with a better overall sense of well-being, which can lead to less anxiety. Experts indicate even short bursts of exercise can improve your fitness, so if you need to begin slowly, with just 10-15 minutes at a time, that will work in the long run. You can still reach your overall goal of at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. As your fitness improves you will be able to exercise longer, and you will find your physical health and mental clarity improving. 


At Woodside, we offer the ability to work with a personal trainer. Woodside Trainers  are friendly, caring, and highly certified to help you meet all of your fitness goals. Whether you are brand new to the gym or you need a little help changing your routine, one of our amazing Trainers will help you every step of the way. 

A yoga instructor helping a student during class


When most of us think about anxiety and depression, we cannot help but think about mood. Exercise can help prevent anxiety disorders from developing, so even if you aren’t experiencing them now, beginning an exercise routine prior to major changes or stressful times in your life can be helpful. Being proactive is always better than working on something after issues occur. Research shows those who exercise regularly are at a 25% reduced risk of depression.

One major issue of anxiety is feeling stuck in a mood and being unable to move past it or get out of it. One of the ways exercise, especially aerobic exercise, relieves anxiety is by releasing feel-good chemicals into the brain that affect neurotransmitters. This directly affects individuals’ moods and their feelings of well-being. Exercising also induces calmness because it increases the body’s temperature. 


Another way to improve your mood with exercise is to find methods you enjoy. If you are an extrovert or find additional motivation from others helpful, look for group fitness classes, like the many options offered at Woodside. If you prefer to work alone, you can work with individual trainers to set up a plan. 



#1.) Find a workout routine or a variety of routines that you enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with different ones as you settle into the ones you will enjoy most and will meet your desires and goals.

#2.) Plan for frequency in your exercising. You will benefit most by the long-term changes you find in regular exercise instead of only having activities on the weekends. Shorter times with more frequency are better for you than longer workouts with more extensive break times between.

#3.) Don’t get discouraged. Like any new activity, you may take some time to see the benefits and even find the routines you want to continue. Your current level of activity will affect how quickly new routines bring on physical and mental benefits.



We have always known exercise is good for the body, and now we have evidence that it is also a powerful tool for the mind. If you are already exercising but want more of a challenge, at Woodside we can help you with that. If you haven’t started a routine yet and want to begin, we would be delighted to help you start your journey. Contact us for a tour of Woodside, your premier KC wellness center.

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