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Author Topic: Exercise or not to exercise.  (Read 307 times)

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Offline Lee Isaacs

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Exercise or not to exercise.
« on: January 14, 2013, 05:18:44 AM »
Hi all. I am new to this site so let me introduce myself.

My name is Lee Isaacs. I am 26 and live in a little place called Chesterfield in the North East of England.

I was diagnosed with GAD about 4 years ago but I was experiencing symptoms a lot longer ago. Foolishly I didn't bother going to the doctor and chose to ignore it. The result is a much worse condition for me which could have possibly been caught quicker. You live and you learn though, right?

Anyway. Here is my problem....

I have put a bit of weight on lately, from about 12.5st to 14st. I am only 6ft so I shouldn't be this heavy. I really want to lose some weight and get back to my healthy self but I have some worries.

I am scared that excessive runing may make my anxiety worse than ever. Although I was diagnosed with GAD, my doctor says that it could also be health anxiety too which I am feeling. He came to this conclusion after a series of tests which showed that 50% of the time, my anxiety attacks come from worrying about my heart.

Anyway. I am worried that raising my heart rate to the rates needed to start burning calories may trigger anxiety / panic attacks. I have been doing weights for a while which doesn't seem to be too bad but I still get that "dread" feeling after I try to relax. Has anyone else had this dilemma before?

I would be so, so grateful for any advice or ideas you guys and girls may have please.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post and I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks again, Lee Isaacs.
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Exercise or not to exercise.
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 08:34:31 AM »
Hi Lee,

Glad you did your posting and nice to have someone from England with us . . .

I am also glad that you have accepted the fact that yes, you might have been better off if you had started the process earlier, but, I don\t know about you, but I have yet to figure out how to go back and change the past . . . .in other words, look at today and accept that what was was and you can't change it . . . .speaking as someone who did not "recognize" anxiety as anything but a normal state of affairs for decades, you are in a good place . . .  26 is a good spot to recognize anxiety and deal with it because you have life experiences and maturity to make the process effective . . .

Now, I was worried about exercise myself . . . every time I did something, I felt so out of my comfort zone, I thought I was going to pass out . . . until I realized that it was my anxiety that was creating these feelings . . . from my own doctor, he told me that you do not run to get healthy, but you get healthy to run  . . . in other words, you have to build up to any type of exercise rather than diving into it . . . so, he recommended a healthy diet base --- little, if any, fried foods, no added salt, minimum if any processed foods (no prepackaged stuff because of the chemical additives and salt), veggies, protein (I rely on fish and chicken and eggs and veggie based proteins as I have problems digesting red meats like beef and pork although I love both of them but have to stay away from them), good quality whole grain cereals with fiber but build up gradually and breads, and basically anything else including my beloved chocolate frozen yogurt. The key is everything in moderation even the treats . . . but 90% of the time it is the healthy foods on a regular basis throughout the day (always breakfast, a small snack mid morning if I want, a good lunch (this is my main meal of the day), a snack mid afternoon, and then my last meal which for me is very small around 7 p.m. --- I do not eat after 8 p.m. if at all possible and, of course, water)

Added to that, he recommended progressive exercise because he knew of my anxiety . . . forget running for now, he started me on walking . . . .this is going to be a laugh now (because I walk 45 minutes a day) but he told me to walk in one direction for no more than 5 minutes at a very leisurely pace and then walk back for a total of 10 minutes. I had to do this every day for 14 days . . . and this was my exercise . . . .I have to admit that I thought he was a bit off the beam . . . then for the next 14 days I got to walk 7 minutes, then for the next 14 days 9 minutes, etc. Looking back, he was dealing with my anxiety with exercise and health by having me build up in duration without adding the exertion factor . . . . after I was able to walk 20 minutes in one direction and return for 20 minutes, he had me get a pedometer that tracked steps taken, distance, calories burned and had a download component to the computer so I had an automatic tracking of my walking . . . .then we started to increase intensity because the pedometer will only register aerobic walking if I reach a certain speed over a certain time period . . . .and we started the process again . . . in this way, I took small steps and became comfortable with the feelings of exertion so that these feelings did not trigger anxiety . . . also, and I have difficulties here, a regular sleep pattern . . .whether I want to or not, I go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time . . . if I am off this pattern for more than a day or two in sequence, I find that I become more prone to being anxious . . . .I also have some small weights at home that I use but I want to start a strength program come May . . . .for right now, I am getting back to walking as I broke my ankle and the recovery has been great and I am very thankful that the break healed so well but I had to start at the beginning one more time in working my way up . . . .but I know that I will make it as I have accepted the adage of one day at a time . . . .

Your feeling of dread is not unusual . . . if your doctor has given you a clean bill of health (i.e. there is no physical reason why you should not exercise), then I would suggest that you start small and have expectations only for that day . . . if you miss a day, not a problem, just pick up where you left off . . . .I also found that on my walks, I use the time to clear my mind . . . I use the process described on tape 6 (I have listened to all of them but find tape 6 to be the one for me) at http://www.selftherapy.org/stop-anxiety-panic-attacks.php   . . . .tape 6 is free to everyone and, as I said, it is my key and it may just help you to get thinking of your own strategies . . .

Well, Lee, that's it for me . . . please let us know how you are doing . . . it is a process . . . .there will probably be bumps in the road but I bet Chesterfield has a lot of nice walking paths where you can practice walking and building up your mental and physical stamina . . . . glad you came by and shared your story and if I can give you any more information about any of this, let me know . . . and I am sure that there are others who could probably give you more insight to help support you  . . . by the way, do you have access to a professional therapist who might guide you in developing management techniques for your anxiety, in general, and your health anxiety specifically? Sometimes these resources are difficult to find in urban centres let alone in smaller places . . . if you do have access, these folks may be able to guide you to develop management techniques expressly for you and to identify triggers for your anxiety . . .remember . . .come back here as often as you like . . . .take care, kc

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Offline Lee Isaacs

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Re: Exercise or not to exercise.
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 08:52:48 AM »
Thanks very much for the reply. Most kind of you to go into such detail too.

I already do a bit of walking most days but I wil start following a plan as routine seems to be the most important part of an exercise plan.

I do have a therapist who I am working with currently. It is a system called CBT, (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) which does help to a certain extent.

Again, I thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post and look forward to being a part of your community. If I can help anyone in any way, I will gladly do my bit. It's great to see of so many people who are experiencing similar states of mind and body as myself.

Thanks once more.

Lee
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Exercise or not to exercise.
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 08:58:57 AM »
Wonderful advice. Exercise, and meditation, and CBT keep me this side of the divide. Find what you enjoy, learn about it, get into it gradually and rejoice in it.

Weight is best addressed by change in diet along with exercise. Both are necessary. You'll see fine results. Keep us posted.
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Offline Genti

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Re: Exercise or not to exercise.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 09:16:36 AM »
I was diagnosed with gad 4 years ago too and I ganied  a lot of weight. 110kgs I was 9 months ago where I decided to change. Now I am 96 kgs, so I lost 14 kgs so far.
I also was worried about my heart, I controlled  so many times my pulse during the workout but I just tried to ignore it. Imagine some people run 30 km and they are just fine. If you worry more for smth you get worse on. So, this is a good decision because I feel great when I exercise. It keeps  me away of my home first, second I feel healthier and I eat healthier.
Dont give up, with time you will get better and better.
Good luck.

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Offline jwall378

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Re: Exercise or not to exercise.
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 01:19:27 PM »
For me it's pretty easy. Exercise, good food, and good night's sleep, keeping active, and therapy=less anxiety. Hanging around doing nothing, eating junk food, and restless sleep=more anxiety. Even though there are many times I don't feel like exercising, I force myself to do something (even just a walk down the street) to make myself feel better.
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Offline Lee Isaacs

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Re: Exercise or not to exercise.
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 01:45:48 PM »
All great advice. Thank you very much people!

Lee.
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Offline HaileyAnn

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Re: Exercise or not to exercise.
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 07:32:51 PM »
That will come down to your personal choice. I go to the gym for an hour a day every day and GOODNESS has it helped me! I have GAD and get panic attacks, but the panic attacks come a lot less frequently with exercise. That's just my personal experience.  :happy0151:
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Offline spazzytastical007

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Re: Exercise or not to exercise.
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 08:41:35 PM »
Thanks so much for this post and all who responded! I know I need to do some sort of exercise but I have a lot of health anxieties, mainly heart related. I have found myself before going into anxiety attack mode trying to exercise. Its hard for me to feel motivated to do any kind of exercise indoors. I don't live in an area where I can really go outside and do anything because its way too cold for one right now, and I don't trust my neighbors dogs not to attack me haha. I love to go hiking. I do have to take my time though but I find it really relaxing to be out in the fresh air enjoying nature. I do believe exercise is a must though. I appreciate the comments regarding the healthy diet too. I am just barely under 5'7" and weigh 118 lbs(I expect that to change after I hit 30 in a couple of years haha) I haven't gained any weight in last 6 years despite what I eat, which is not really a good thing because I know it probably has a huge bearing on how I feel. I may not visually look unhealthy but I feel like crap. I've become overly aware of my heart rate on a daily basis, especially after I eat, which often leads me to think that I am sensitive to certain foods or something, when its probably due to not eating as healthy as I should be & because I'm just crazy. I am going to work on that and hope in time I will start feeling better because I prefer not to take any medication if I can help it. Its easy to get to get sidetracked and off course with daily activities, so thanks for the tips and reminders!
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