Yes, physical activity reduces anxiety. A recent study by Psychiatry of 400,000 people concluded, regular exercise can reduce your chances of developing anxiety by 60%.
Additionally, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America is quite clear, the physical benefits of exercise—improving physical condition and fighting disease—have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.
When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, even breathing deeply can cause your body to produce endorphins. And conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.
Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
And, in a study reported on Reuters, teens who exercise and play team sports are less likely to be smokers or use marijuana and other drugs.
And finally, in an article by Selene Yeager, she states, As kids enter middle school, they begin to exercise less and are more prone to depression, says study author Rod K. Dishman, PhD. He recommends boosting physical activity as a first line of defense. "Exercise is cheap, accessible, and has few side effects," he says. "Parents should get involved by planning family activities and encouraging active recreational pastimes to help keep kids in this age group increasingly active."