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Exercise May Reduce Patient Anxiety

March 5, 2010 by  

Exercise may reduce patient anxietyAccording to a recent study, regular exercise can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms that accompany a chronic illness.

After analyzing the results of 40 randomized clinical trials, researchers from the University of Georgia found that patients who exercised on a regular basis reported a 20 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to those who did not exercise.

"Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that physical activities such as walking or weight-lifting may turn out to be the best medicine that physicians can prescribe to help their patients feel less anxious," said lead author Matthew Herring.

Individuals participating in the study found relief from anxiety caused by a variety of conditions, including multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer and arthritis.

The study’s co-author, Pat O’Connor, noted that exercise even helped calm respondents who were not very anxious to begin with. He added that exercise sessions of at least 30 minutes were found to be considerably more effective in reducing anxiety symptoms than routines lasting less than 30 minutes.

Additionally, there are a variety of herbal supplements on the market that can help calm the nerves, including B-complex vitamins, GABA and inositol.
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