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Healthy Living: Exercise may help moms struggling with anxiety

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While anyone can experience anxiety from time to time, Dr. Gregory Jantz, the founder of The Center, A Place of Hope says he's seeing more moms struggling with anxiety.

"I think it's important to talk about because anxiety means physical symptoms," said Dr. Jantz.  While he says worrying is normal, anxiety is really a fear that can affect a person's well-being, sleep and overall health.

Moms in particular can find themselves feeling anxious, whether it's striking a work-life balance or worrying about their kids.  Dr. Jantz says in some cases serious anxiety can have a ripple effect and lead to something called 'absorption anxiety'.

"Absorption anxiety is when I feel anxious and around my family members, particularly my kids and they begin to absorb my anxiety," said Dr. Jantz. "Kids are like a sponge, they may feel what's around them and they don't always understand it but they know that there's something going on and they feel that."

According to the Mayo Clinic, feelings of anxiety and even panic can start early in life and last into adulthood.  While occasional anxiety is normal, 'people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.'  Symptoms can include feeling nervous or tense, a feeling of impending danger, an increased heart rate, hyperventilating, having trouble sleeping and gastrointestinal problems.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms it's important to have a talk with your doctor about options and what may be causing your anxiety.  There could be a medical reason causing anxiety, like heart disease or a thyroid problem.

In addition, it's been found that exercise can have a positive effect on people who may be struggling with anxiety.  Dr. Jantz says even after a couple of weeks many people will notice a difference physically and mentally.  Exercise is helpful because it releases endorphins in the brain that can improve your mood.  Staying active can also boost confidence and take your mind off your worries.

Make sure to talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise routine, especially if you have other health concerns.

 

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