Anxiety impacts about 10% of people, and about twice as many women suffer from anxiety than men. People with anxiety often have other mental health issues, such as depression, as well as poorer physical health and a shorter lifespan. Medications and therapy are sometimes unsuccessful in relieving all the symptoms of anxiety.
Swedish researchers followed 395,369 Swedes for up to 21 years to investigate if participation in a long-distance cross-country ski race was associated with a lower risk of developing anxiety. They found that skiers had a 62% lower risk of developing anxiety than non-skiers.
Takeaway: Physical activity can significantly lower the risk of suffering from anxiety.
Martina Svensson et al., Physical Activity is Associated with Lower Long-term Incidence of Anxiety in a Population-Based, Large-Scale Study, Frontiers in Psychiatry, Sept 10, 2021, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.714014/full.