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Yoga or Running: What Is the Best Exercise for Anxiety?

Updated: Jul 2


Woman doing yoga for anxiety

Exercise is essential for overall health, and your mental and behavioral health is no exception. Individuals with anxiety will benefit from moving their bodies regularly. But which type of exercise is best for you? This guide will help you understand your exercise options, as well as some other methods for managing your anxiety.


What Exercise Helps Anxiety Best?


Benefits of Yoga for Anxiety


Yoga involves moving your body intentionally and synching with your breath. A body-mind connection can often be calming for people with anxiety, and research has proven this. A review of 35 trials assessing yoga’s effect on stress and anxiety found that 25 of the 35 trials reported a reduction in anxiety symptoms.


Studies continue to show that a yoga practice can boost your mood, reduce feelings of stress, and improve general wellness. If you’re seeking a low impact form of exercise to cope with your anxiety, you might consider giving yoga a try.


Benefits of Running for Anxiety


Research shows that running boosts feel-good chemicals in your brain, so the benefits are similar to those of yoga. A running routine increases happiness, eases stress, improves sleep, and decreases general symptoms of mental illness. Running can be a great option for individuals experiencing conditions like anxiety and depression. However, running is high impact, so keep this in mind before taking to the pavement.


Other Steps to Take


Exercise, in general, can help you cope with anxiety. What counts is that you’re moving your body. However, exercise isn’t the only way to manage your symptoms. There are some other steps you should take to get your anxiety under control.


  • See a Therapist: Behavioral therapy for anxiety is an excellent resource for managing your mental health. A therapist will work with you to develop coping strategies, self-soothing techniques, and healthy habits. Your therapy appointments are a safe and confidential place to talk about your challenges and victories.

  • Try Group Counseling: Your therapist might recommend that you try group counseling for anxiety as well. Discussing your symptoms with a group of your peers can help be healing. Group therapy activities are also a great way to learn new ways to manage your anxiety.

  • Consider Medication: Anxiety medication may also be part of your treatment plan. A psychiatrist will work with you to find the right type of anxiety medication for your needs. They will also talk you through potential side effects and ensure that your prescription is working for you.


Anxiety can make everyday life more difficult. But by taking care of yourself and having a mental health team on your side, you can thrive. The team at The Collective is proud to offer the anxiety counseling Denver residents can trust. Our licensed therapists and psychiatrists will put together a treatment plan based on your unique needs. Contact us today to set up a brief consultation.


Does My Insurance Cover a Therapist at The Collective?


The Collective is partnered with several insurance providers to make our services more accessible to you. You can verify your insurance through our website before scheduling an appointment.