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Thread: . . . Exercise

  1. #1

    . . . Exercise

    Hi everyone hope your all ok??

    Basically, I used to love running etc but since having children I stopped and now I want to get back into exercising.

    I'm almost 27, not overweight. But I'm terrified of doing any exercise. I do a lot of walking everyday. I have to wth work. But when it's more than walking. I hate the feeling. It terrifies me.

    Me and my husband have started to do some exercise every evening when our 2 children go to bed as we both realised we have actually let ourselves get lazy/ unfit.

    We go weights at home, squats. Push ups and sit ups which I find "ok" it obviously gets my heart racing. But when it comes to the cardio I just freeze and panic, worried by the out of breath feeling and the pounding racing heart. I hate that my anxiety is stopping me from exerting myself.

    How can I overcome this fear ???

    Any tips are greatly welcome

    Thanks ❤️

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Re: . . . Exercise

    do you listen to music when you exercise? I felt really insecure going to the gym because I am a newbie and like you felt I was breathing wrong. The music helps calm me plus covers the sound.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Re: . . . Exercise

    What helped me was seeing that when I pushed myself hard and I got that winded feeling I would do breathing exercises and I would recover my regular breathing pattern. Confirming it was just the exercise causing that feeling and not my heart giving out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Re: . . . Exercise

    Hey there Emmy,

    I run a blog about fitness (exercise, diet, supplementation, general info., etc) that is geared towards people with anxiety. I post it here if I only think it's pertinent and can benefit the post I am replying to. It's called The Anxiety Press (

    There is a lot of exercises that are available that aren't traditional cardio that can be done within the confines of your own home/yard. I see you're doing calisthenics (push-ups, for example) and such - that's a great start! I suggest having a more defined and optimized workout layout. So if you're doing, say, push-ups, squats and planks (I always tell clients to do planks over sit-ups!), then I'd do 10-15 push-ups, 10-15 bodyweight squats, 10-15 seconds of planking, rest 30-60 seconds, rinse and repeat 2-3 more times. This constant movement is called "circuit training" (or "triset" if it's a few exercises, but nonetheless it's the same in a way) and it's a fantastic way to save time while simultaneously getting a good workout in. I do it myself to save time in my gym!

    As for the racing heart feeling and getting used to it, I used to have that feeling as well. When my anxiety was at its worse I started getting severe anxiety in the gym due to my heart rate increasing. I had been working out for quite some time and had had this sensation hundreds of times already without issue; but not it was apparently an issue. I'd have to sit down and breathe through it. But I wouldn't let it get a hold of me; I'd push through the sensation to the best of my ability. Over time, after getting a vast amount of exposure to this feeling again, I got used to it for the most part. I am able to workout as normal now (well, at least in regards to that) and rarely have issues. Heck, I even went for a run a few weeks ago (something I rarely do, but should) and my heart was going to beat out of my chest after my measly half a mile, but I kept going a bit longer, then slowed down to a walk and finished what I had to do. You can do this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Re: . . . Exercise

    It feels odd because it replicates the feeling of anxiety.

    Push through it, and it will soon start feeling normal.

    As you get fitter your heart rate will drop and your anxiety levels overall will decrease.

    I had the same when I started to exercise again.
    Check Out My Vlog - The Most Important Thing I Learnt About Anxiety
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  6. #6

    Re: . . . Exercise

    Ahhh guys thank you so much for the replies.

    And poppadr. I will take everything you have said and do it for sure

    I've been doing it every evening and pushing myself that little bit more every night.

    I mean at he start I could only "embarrassingly" only do 20 sit ups. But now I can do 40 with pushing myself so I'm super stocked about it. I've always done planks. Even when I wasn't doing any exercise at all I just love doing them and they are in my workouts too.

    I'll try and set up some sort of "routine" to do every night and then everyweek make them longer.

    Still can't get past the feeling I have after as it resembles ehat I feel before my panic attacks kick in so I just associate it with that like SLA said

    Cheers guys

  7. #7

    Re: . . . Exercise

    The thing is, the more you worry, the more you'll keep worrying and keep triggering the feelings.

    Exercise is good for you, and in terms of mental health, potentially transformative. I advise you to start challenging the anxious thoughts and to make sure you get out there and exercise. Teach your amygdalas that there's nothing to worry about and that your body can take it.

    Take it from a moderately overweight guy who took up running and turned his life around.
    "My only hope is this homemade Prozac... Needs more ice cream."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Re: . . . Exercise

    You know 'pushing yourself' isn't always the best idea. I know the media would have you believe that hitting the wall and living hard is the best way to live your life, but it is not.

    When your mind and body are living with anxiety, most of the systems that govern your ability to recover, heal and cope with added stress are compromised. This will improve over time, but it's not a fast process.

    I would disagree with advice to 'push through it', but rather try and relax into what YOU feel is your comfortable level right now.

    Walking, housework, gardening and playing with kids etc is more than enough exercise to stay fit, if that's where you feel you need to be right now. Walking especially, if you go for a brisk 20-30 minute walk a day, or even cycling.

  9. #9

    Re: . . . Exercise

    I was offered a running class on the NHS as part of my treatment. I didn't end up taking it, but the fact is, exercise is proven to be therapeutic for mental health conditions, especially depression and anxiety.

    Nobody should push themselves beyond what they can physically handle, but let's not discourage people from pushing themselves at all.
    "My only hope is this homemade Prozac... Needs more ice cream."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Re: . . . Exercise

    Quote Originally Posted by ServerError View Post
    I was offered a running class on the NHS as part of my treatment. I didn't end up taking it, but the fact is, exercise is proven to be therapeutic for mental health conditions, especially depression and anxiety.

    Nobody should push themselves beyond what they can physically handle, but let's not discourage people from pushing themselves at all.
    I think "pushing yourself" is being taken out of context. It's not push yourself into HIIT oblivion, it's push the boundaries of your anxiety. The issue being that avoiding it out of fear only leads to core belief changes that the activity is scary. Been there, done that, made associations between anxiety symptoms and normal bodily sensations from exercise and voila, new fear and had to work through it (still working on it too).

    It's about exposure to your fear and working through It. Whether that's more ERP or going mad with "flooding" is up to you but the former is more effective.

    If anxiety is really bad though sometimes avoidance is initially necessary to take the pressure off to allow you to reduce it. But you will end up working back through that's been the case with everything I backed away from.
    Last edited by MyNameIsTerry; 20-05-17 at 13:48.
    For free Mindfulness resources, please see this thread I have created to compile many sources together

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