Anxiety disorders are becoming increasingly common in today’s fast-paced world. There is so much to get done and so much to worry about that it’s no wonder more and more people are struggling with this serious problem. Sometimes, those who suffer from anxiety can also experience insomnia as well. Others suffer from just the inability to sleep.

Medications for both of these conditions abound. Anti-anxiety and sleeping pills, however, cost a lot of money to take on a regular basis and can come with some pretty serious side effects. Many people who use these products report feeling “zombie-like” and losing touch with their true selves. While there are certainly some situations that require medication, more often than not, the answer may be simpler than you think.

Exercise for a Better Life

Believe it or not, regular exercise has actually been shown to appease the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. While most people don’t think to look to exercise as a solution for these problems, they often work better than prescribed medications and without any negative side effects—other than breaking a sweat! See, when you exercise, the body releases adrenaline from the adrenal glands and brain. This natural substance instantly makes you more relaxed and more calm. As you might imagine, anxiety symptoms are eased away, and because your body has been pushed and exerted, you sleep better and more soundly.

What Counts as Exercise?

Ideally, to experience these and other benefits, you should get in at least thirty minutes of exercise per day. However, any amount of vigorous activity you can engage in on a regular basis should help! While exercise should ideally consist of a mix of aerobic activity and weight training for maximum results, just about anything will do the trick and get that adrenaline pumping! Try fun activities like going skating or taking a long walk. You can even get the whole family involved by planning an outing. Or, if you’re really pressed for time, work exercise into your regular routines. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do a few squats while you’re vacuuming, or run in place while watching your favorite television show.

Live Healthy

To make the benefits of exercise even more noticeable and powerful, add in other healthy lifestyle changes as well. Take a look at your diet for starters. If you’re eating a lot of processed, calorie heavy junk, it’s no surprise you feel bloated, lethargic, worried, and restless! Switch to clean foods—like lean meats, leafy vegetables, and juicy fruits, preferably those without any processed ingredients.

Also make sure that you are getting plenty of water—at least eight glasses per day, and that you strive for eight hours of sleep per night. If you feel like you are missing out on some much needed nutrients, go for natural supplements, like a natural liquid iron supplement. Furthermore, don’t engage in unhealthy habits like smoking, using other tobacco products, or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Limiting caffeine intake is also a smart step to take.

In addition to taking care of the physical, take care of the you inside! Do activities that you enjoy and that are meaningful to you, and form a strong support system of friends and people you can confide in. The more you care for yourself, the less likely you are to experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other types of issues. These are just a few of the mental benefits of exercise.