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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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What are the plausible explanations for an anxiolytic effect

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What are the plausible explanations for an anxiolytic effect of exercise on the individual?
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Dear friend,

You have posed a very interesting question. Exercise is linked to not only reducing anxiety, but depression as well, by releasing chemicals in the brain that make us feel good (endorphins and neurotransmitters) and thus ease depression. It increases the body temperature which has a calming effect, and it reduces certain chemicals from the immune system that can increase depression.

Exercise can have secondary psychological and emotional support as well by distracting you from worries; by increasing social interaction, even brief ones, whether in the gym or jogging through the park or neighborhood; by giving you more self-confidence as you meet exercise goals, gain tone and muscle, and lose weight It is a lot healthier than taking drugs or drinking.

There are also many ways to increase exercise and they include gardening, washing your car, weight lifting, yoga, martial arts, running, strolling, swimming, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, walking or bicycling to work or school, and parking at the far end of the parking lot at the mall.
The best results for anxiety were achieved with aerobic exercise, and the best results were obtained after several weeks of exercise, and the most impressive results were with those who were least physically fit to begin with.

A meta study done in 1994 by Landers and Petruzzello, examining 27 narrative reviews found that in 81%, the authors had shown that there was a strong relationship between exercise and anxiety reduction.

What is the brain chemical most affected by exercise, it can be asked. A recent study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports answered that question. It seems that aerobic exercises, specifically, were tied to a larger decrease in the chemical substance serotonin. Antidepressant that also have anxiolytic effects, such as the SSRIs, do exactly that chemically (but has plenty of side effects. This may not be the only chemical involved, but it has been confirmed in a scientific journal and certain provides at least one explanation for the anxiolytic effects of exercise.

I hope that this has been helpful.

If you wish to get back to me with more information, please hit the reply button.

Do not hit the ratings of BAD or POOR, as this puts negative feedback on my permanent record. Please allow me to have the opportunity to serve you with a better answer. I am concerned with this new rating system because I do this for a living. Thank you so much.

I wish you the best in finding the relief, healing, and understanding that you are seeking.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Dear Phil,

Thank you so much for your positive feedack and acceptance of my answer. I wish you the best.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC