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Anxiety has amped up for Americans. One sure remedy: exercise

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Actress Selena Gomez, singer-songwriter Zayn Malik and actress Emma Stone have spoken frankly about their battle with anxiety. They're part of the 40 million Americans who contend with anxiety disorders -- and the millions of others who have intermittent anxiety. A 2021 poll found that 41% of Americans felt more anxious this year than last.

The standard treatments offered for everything from phobias to panic attacks are psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, aversion therapy and medications, which may have unwanted side effects like drowsiness and addiction.

There is, however, one effective treatment, even for chronic anxiety, that has no downside. Exercise.

A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders tracked 286 folks with anxiety disorders and found that three 60-minute training sessions weekly that combined strength training and aerobics dispelled anxiety. The participants raised their heart rate to 60% or 75% of their maximum (roughly 220 minus your calendar age) and did 45 minutes of circuit training, before ending with a cool down and stretching.

The folks hitting 60% max heart rate were almost four times more likely to get relief from their anxiety as those not exercising; and if they hit the 75% mark, they were almost five times more likely to see their symptoms fade away.

So head to the gym for a full-body workout with machines like ellipticals and with stretchy bands and/or hop on your stationary bicycle or fast walk/jog around the block. Improved mental -- and physical -- health is just around the corner.

 

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Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of "What to Eat When" and its companion cookbook.

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

 

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