Categories: Fitness3.4 min read

by Stephen Luther, M.D.


Calm Down and Improve Your Health

In today’s society, letting off steam to calm our thoughts can be a natural remedy to boost your health. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in America today as all ages encounter a constant barrage of nerve-wracking information that bounces from our devices and through our minds like atoms in a pressure cooker. As things heat up, anxiety levels rise, and things start to boil; like a once-sturdy lid, our thoughts become rattled and overflow into stress and depression.

Symbios understands that life events cannot always be controlled, but we can strive to control our worrisome, anxious reactions, that affect our quality of life and health.

One of the most effective methods to manage anxiety is exercise.

It’s All In Your Head

Yes, our connection between emotional and physical health begins with the thoughts swirling through our minds. When we feel anxious or worried, our heart rate and blood pressure can rise, our mental clarity may become ruffled, and quality sleep is often blown away as our brain prepares for possible turbulence.

You can help calm the storm raging through your head with physical activity. The powerful role exercise plays in alleviating anxiety is uncovered through the following key players and their functions in response to stress.


Anxiety can lead to stress, which triggers the release of certain hormones, including:

  • Cortisol: Cortisol is a survival response known as the “stress hormone.” Chronic stress can produce high cortisol levels, which can shrink the hippocampus, which is the emotion and memory hub of the brain. Regular physical activity reduces stress and lowers cortisol levels. Exercise also increases cell growth, which can reverse damage caused by stress.
  • Adrenaline: Adrenaline is a hormone that initiates the body’s fight-or-flight response that signals energy stored in your liver and muscles to release and boost your physical capacity quickly. Yet, in modern lifestyles, stress enters traffic or offices with no exit plan, thus elevating anxiety and, in severe cases, causing panic attacks. The surge of energy intended for escape is reduced with daily exercise that provides a physical release and helps our body’s systems work together.
  • Norepinephrine: Like adrenaline, norepinephrine affects mood and anxiety. High levels are associated with increased heart rate and blood pressure. Physical activity can regulate norepinephrine levels, helping to manage stress and anxiety more effectively.

Calming Neurotransmitters

  • Serotonin: This “feel-good” hormone can help combat anxiety, as low levels of serotonin are often linked to depression. Serotonin production is stimulated by the feeling of accomplishment and the physical benefits of exercise that combine to create a powerful antidote to anxiety.
  • Endorphins: These are natural painkillers produced by the brain. They promote a sense of well-being and can counteract anxiety. Exercise increases endorphins, such as in the well-documented phenomenon known as the runner’s high, where a surge in endorphins from prolonged exercise leads to euphoria and reduced anxiety.

Cognitive Function

Movement increases blood flow, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, stimulates growth in brain cells, and enhances mental clarity.

Exercise can also shift our focus from anxious concerns to more positive thinking.


Exercise can boost and improve the duration and quality of sleep by working off excess energy, relieving tension, and regulating body temperature. Exercise increases melatonin production, leading to a better sleep cycle and more time for our body to restore and repair itself.

Exercise Tips for Anxiety Relief

  • Consistency is Vital: Aim for 10 minutes of warm-up, 30 minutes of moderate exercise, and 10 minutes of cool-down at least five days a week. Consistent training, such as classes at SymbiosFIT, can help maintain lower cortisol levels and higher serotonin and endorphin levels.
  • Mix it Up: Incorporate different movements with various aerobic and anaerobic exercises (resistance training), such as functional fitness classes.
  • Social Exercise: Joining SymbiosFIT or a similar exercise group can provide social support, another powerful tool for combating anxiety.

Symbios encourages exercise and offers a natural, practical solution to reduce stress hormones and boost mood-enhancing chemicals to manage anxiety. Exercise today at SymbiosFIT and start improving your physical health and your mental well-being.


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