2020 has been a year. To use the popular descriptor, it’s been nothing if not unprecedented. From a global pandemic, soaring unemployment and financial uncertainty, civil unrest, and The Tiger King, the events of 2020 have been the cause of anxiety for people all over the world.
Anxiety has risen so much, that Market Watch reports that anti-anxiety medications prescriptions have increased by 34% during the pandemic. Not only that, but they also report that more prescriptions are being filled. The logical conclusion from this data is that the use of anti-anxiety medications is on the rise in America. And it’s not just anti-anxiety medications, use of antidepressants and sleep aids are also on the rise.
It’s long been theorized that one of the most effective methods for reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression and increasing the body’s natural ability to sleep and recover is exercise, but is it really? According to Harvard Medical School, yes, it is.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ditch your prescription and sign up for a gym membership instead, but it does mean that you should consider supplementing your current treatment plan with a healthy exercise program to see if it might have an impact over time on your reliance on other medications. It’s been well documented that exercise has allowed people with various medical conditions like Diabetes to reduce or even eliminate expensive medications thanks to the introduction of exercise.
We know that exercise can improve your quality of life, but the notion that exercise might allow us to reduce our physical dependence, and therefore our financial obligation to, prescription medications could be literally life-changing for so many people.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic believe that exercise has a positive impact on your mental health for two reasons. First, it causes your body to release feel-good endorphins that enhance your mood and emotional state. Second, it provides a distraction, a particularly effective technique for managing anxiety.