Exercise and anxiety: The surprising link!

Exercise has amazing effects on the brain and body, helping with a variety of mental health challenges. In particular, those suffering from anxiety disorders can benefit immensely from exercise, including high intensity interval training. This is because, unknown to most, exercise is the number one best way to generate new neurons in the memory center of the brain (called the hippocampus), meaning that exercise can actually *reverse* brain damage caused by chronic stress and anxiety. This results in better long-term management of the stress response system and improves memory and concentration.

Additionally, exercise has been shown to increase heart rate variability, decrease activation in the stress pathway (called the HPA Axis), and reduce activation of the "fear center" of the brain (called the amygdala), meaning that it works to keep you calm and feeling good by eliciting changes in both the body and the brain. So the next time you feel on edge or overwhelmed, make some time for this brain-changing, brain-growing technique and hit the gym!