Changing Old Thinking Patterns and Developing a New Exercise Habit
The first step is to determine if you think that physical exercise would be a useful addition to your life. To make that call, it might be helpful to review the most recent findings on physical activity and mental wellness.
People have reported that their anxiety was most reduced when the exercise taken was "aerobic" in nature. Walking, running, and dancing are aerobic activities. People felt that their symptoms responded best when they exercised on a regular basis for several weeks. People who said that they had "high anxiety" at the beginning reported feeling more relief after they started a fitness plan than did other people.
People who exercised regularly over a period of several weeks also reported great relief of their depressive symptoms. The people who reported feeling the most relief were those who engaged in vigorous exercise several times per week. And just like those people who were seeking relief from anxiety, those people who reported feeling the most depressed when they started their exercise programs were the ones who reported feeling the greatest relief from their symptoms after exercise.
It is known that people have to keep exercising to keep the benefit of exercise and that they need to exercise several times a week on an ongoing basis. There is no need to join a club or a class to get the wonderful health benefits of exercise. But some people find that they enjoy having an exercise buddy who motivates them and encourages them to keep going when they might otherwise give up. This is purely an individual preference, and many people exercise quite happily alone, year after year.