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5 physical activities to help reduce anxiety and stress in Utah

Aug 21, 2020, 2:04 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY — As Utah announces a new COVID-19 state of emergency declaration, many are beginning to feel more anxiety and stress due to the pandemic.

According to a survey presented by the CDC, 40.9% of respondents have reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, including symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder related to the pandemic.

One way to help combat the rise in anxiety and stress is to stay active and Utahns are spoiled with ways to stay active. 

Here are five different ways to help stay active during the pandemic.

(Disclaimer: Please follow all public health guidelines related to COVID-19 in your area. You can find a list of ways to protect yourself and others by visiting the official Utah Coronavirus website.)

Hiking in Utah’s great outdoors

One of the best ways to reduce anxiety and stress is to get outdoors. Luckily, for those who live in Utah, we don’t have to drive far to experience its beauty.

The state features some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the western region of the U.S. and most of it is accessible via hiking. 

Here are a couple of our favorites if you’re looking for inspiration heading into the weekend.

Delicate Arch

Location: Arches National Park
Distance: Three miles (round trip)
Difficulty: Easy

Queen’s Garden/Navajo Loop Trail

Location: Bryce Canyon National Park
Distance: 2.9 miles (round trip)
Difficulty: Easy

WEATHER ART: A couple enjoys the view of Zion National Park close to sunset from Angel’s Landing. ALLRED/photo

Angel’s Landing

Location: Zion National Park
Distance: 5.5 miles (round trip)
Difficulty: Moderate

Stephanie Larsen (center) participates in yoga during Earth Jam at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City Apr 22, 2007. The festival had a “moon stage” and “earth stage” where artists and musicians displayed their talents. Jeffrey D. Allred/photo

Be more mindful with outdoor yoga

A proven way to reduce anxiety and stress is to be more mindful. One of the most impactful ways to achieve mindfulness is to practice yoga.

Yoga has been used for centuries to help improve focus and to increase physical fitness.

If you are new to the world of yoga, you can find more information at Yoga Journal.

 

Go on a relaxing run

Now that many Utahns are spending more time at home due to current COVID-19 health guidelines, there’s no better time to get outside and go on a relaxing run.

Whether it’s out on a trail or just on your neighborhood sidewalk, running has been proven to have many benefits to mental health. 

A study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.

Just make sure to bring plenty of water and try to run early in the morning or later into the evening to beat the record-breaking heat.

Tamara Artz participates in the Salt Lake Bicycle Collective sponsored Bike Ed: Road 1 course in the parking lot of the county government center in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 23rd, 2006.
Kim Raff / Deseret Morning News August 23, 2006.

Go sightseeing by cycling

Road biking in Utah has grown massively in popularity over the course of the past couple of years. With the introduction of the Tour of Utah, many Utahns are now trying their hand at the popular sport.

With a quick search, you’ll find that there are countless places to explore in Utah with a bike. Whether it’s road biking the Legacy Parkway or mountain biking down in Moab, newcomers to cycling will find plenty of options to reduce anxiety and stress throughout the state. 

You can head over to Visit Utah to learn more about biking options in Utah.

 


Brady Fernando carries a paddleboard after using it at Jordanelle State Park on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Paddleboard one of Utah’s many beautiful lakes

One of the newest and most popular trends that you’ll see in Utah is paddleboarding. A mix of kayaking and surfing, paddleboarding has become one of the most fun and enjoyable ways to spend time with the family this summer.

There are paddleboard rental shops near most major lakes in Utah but Lake Powell holds the record for one of the best places to paddleboard in our eyes.

For more information on paddleboarding, you can visit ISLE.

Listen to the Project Recovery podcast for other ways to help prevent stress and anxiety

For more information on relieving stress and anxiety, visit the Project Recovery Facebook, its home page on KSL TV, or their sponsor, Use Only as Directed. To hear more from Casey Scott and Dr. Matt Woolley, you can listen below or subscribe to the ‘Project Recovery’ podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get major podcasts.

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5 physical activities to help reduce anxiety and stress in Utah