According to recent studies Americans sit on average 11 hours a day!! Being sedentary can lead to all kinds of health issues including obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and even an increase in anxiety. Researchers at the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University found a correlation between a person’s total sitting time each day and an increased risk of anxiety.

Most of us spend way too much time at a desk, parked on the couch after work or in bed scrolling mindlessly through Facebook. The darker days don’t help any either.

Getting moving isn’t a cure all for anxiety, but for aleviating mild anxiety it can be extremely helpful. Of course if you suffer from anxiety and aren’t finding relief you should seek a professional. There is no reason to suffer when it can be treated.

If you do suffer from mild anxiety and are sedentary make an effort to move. Taking a 30 minute walk each day is a wonderful way to clear your mind and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Your worries might be where you left them, but for those 30 minutes you can leave them at home.

Getting outside and participating in a physical activity like walking or running is also a great way to increase your heartrate (which in turn increases seratonin levels) and also incrase your vitamin D exposure. In the winter months many of us don’t get enough vitamin D. Taking supplements isn’t a bad idea either.

It can be difficult to move from a sedentary lifestyle to one of more activity, and it’s probably easier to do during the longer and warmer days of the summer. During the winter months we tend to cocoon in our homes, prefering the company of the TV to our neighbors and friends. An effort must be made during these dark and cold nights, but it’s worth it.

Here are just a few ideas to get moving to beat back anxiety. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be strenuous or even exercise. You just need to get up off the couch and close the screen.

Get Moving to Beat Back Anxiety

Take a class – If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to speak Norwegian, or had in interest in learning to salsa dance, now is a great time to explore a new thing. Most community colleges offer a wide variety of night classes. Not only will you learn something new, you’ll meet new people.

Couch to 5K – If you’ve ever wanted to take up running but didn’t know how to start the Couch to 5K program will get you moving. This gentle start has helped people lose weight, quit smoking, and has gotten them running marathons. You don’t have to run a marathon, just get moving.

Garden – Get out and start gardening. Gardening is a great way to be more active and you’ll have a beautiful space to enjoy when the days do get longer.

Take the Steps – We all know we should, but rarely do we take the steps instead of the elevator. You might not be able to walk up 7 flights of steps right away, but you can take one or two of them and take the elevator the rest of the way.