Regular exercise is the best way to cut symptoms of anxiety in patients with chronic illness, a new University of Georgia study has revealed.
In the study, published in the Feb. 22 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed the results of 40 randomized clinical trials involving nearly 3,000 patients with a variety of medical conditions.
They found that, on average, patients who exercised regularly reported a 20 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to those who did not exercise.
"Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that physical activities such as walking or weight lifting may turn out to be the best medicine that physicians can prescribe to help their patients feel less anxious," said lead author Matthew Herring, a doctoral student in the department of kinesiology, part of the UGA College of Education.
The patients in the studies suffered from a variety of conditions, including heart disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer and chronic pain from arthritis.