Anxiety is defined as “a state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation.” If you suffer from anxiety, though, you don’t need the definition. You live with it daily, and you understand exactly what it means when it comes to your psychological and physical well-being.
Anxiety can feel overwhelming.
If you suffer from anxiety, you aren’t alone. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, or ADAA, estimates that nearly 40 million individuals over the age of 18 in the United States suffer from a type of anxiety disorder. That’s 18% of the population.
The question is, though, what do you do about it? Do you live in a constant state of fear? Turn to prescription drugs? Use homeopathic remedies?
If you suffer from frequent anxiety or anxiety disorder, you should consult with your physician. This doesn’t mean you have to relent to a life spent taking medication. Incorporating holistic stress-busting solutions into your treatment program can provide other options which can eventually lead to complete relief from anxiety.
One of these options is Pilates.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, beating stress involves getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, practicing controlled breathing, aerobic movement, and using mind/body exercises like Pilates.
Why? Pilates forces you to focus on certain aspects, distracting you from anxious thoughts, helps to reduce cortisol secretion (the stress hormone), and reduces muscle tension. It does this by:
Helping you Relax– When you’re engaged in Pilates, your goal for each exercise is to use only the muscles required for that particular activity. While in the beginning this may be difficult, Pilates will help you learn how to relax selected muscles on cue so you can reduce the amount of tension in your body, which will, in turn, help reduce much of the stress you feel.
Breathing– As mentioned by the ACSM, practicing breathing exercises is an important part of reducing stress and anxiety, and it’s one of the primary principles taught in Pilates. At Naples Pilates, Fitness and Therapeutics you’ll learn diaphragmatic breathing, which will not only help you focus on the exercise at hand, but will also serve you throughout your life. This type of breathing promotes peace by helping you slow down and live in a state of awareness of each moment you are presently in. In this awareness, you’ll be more apt to recognize when something is about to make you anxious, and you’ll be able to choose a different path and response.
Anxiety relief with Pilates is possible, and we can help. Schedule your next session with Pilates, Fitness & Therapeutics Inc. now to reduce the stress in your life.