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Author Topic: Exercise Anxiety - How to overcome it????  (Read 557 times)

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Offline mpamommyto3

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Exercise Anxiety - How to overcome it????
« on: December 19, 2013, 03:23:28 AM »
Anyone else deal with "exercise anxiety"? My husband got me a gym membership for Christmas because he knows how bad I want to lose weight. I've struggled with anxiety induced by exercise for a few years now. I'll start an exercise routine, do great for a couple weeks, then out of no where during a work out my pulse will get so high I'll lose feeling in my legs and feel like I'm going to collapse. I had an ECO done a year ago and a 24 hour monitor. Everything came back normal. I've been to the hospital a couple times since then and EKG's are always normal. Blood pressure rises then comes back down to normal in a short time. I don't want to give in this time and not go to the gym because of fear. Has anyone else dealt with this and if so, how do you overcome it?
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Rebecca J.
17 Years Anxiety Disorder and Depression

Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Exercise Anxiety - How to overcome it????
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 05:47:43 AM »
I think what you have done is paired anxiety with exercise. Just like others can pair shopping with anxiety. Then when you are doing the thing you have paired the anxiety with it is most likely to happen to you. Because you made a connection in your own mind. It is really all about how to undo that connection. What about exercise makes you anxious is the first thing you need to find out. Is it the fast beating heart and the pulse getting quicker. You see these are both signs of an anxiety attack. But they also occur during exercise too. What a lot of people do is feel as they are meant to feel during exercising and think to themselves that the feelings they feel are the same feelings as anxiety. This triggers off alarm bells in the mind. Which brings on your anxiety. So to accept these feelings as just another part of exercising would be a good start. In other words, expect them. They will come on. Not because of anxiety. Because they are feelings everybody gets during exercise. Hence at times a doctor may push a patient to the limit to show them there is nothing wrong with their hearts. I've been there with doctors before who made me do certain things and showed me how to calm back down again. I was even made hyperventilate once. The doctor did it at the same time. Just to show me how to brings things back under control again. To slow the breathing down. That might be the best place to begin. To learn how to breathe in the correct way. You tube has lots of good videos. Then push yourself. Make that heart beat faster. Then use the breathing methods to slow yourself down again. It is simply all about learning.
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The Lovable Irish Rogue

Offline LivingLife

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Re: Exercise Anxiety - How to overcome it????
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 08:15:15 AM »
This is right up my alley. When I first started having panic attacks this time last year, I literally couldn't even power walk any more or walk up a flight of stairs too quickly because of the increase in heart rate. And this coming from some one who was huge into weight lifting and running before my panic attacks. I couldn't even lift weights any more. I used to deadlift 405 and then I tried starting small to get over the fear with 95 pounds which for me feels like a feather, I remember picking it up and had such an intense panic attack after I called my mom and told her to stay on the phone with me as I left the gym and drove back home. I'm 98% better in terms of exersice anxiety now. I think the way I got over it is baby steps but the key is to face the fear!!! No matter how much panic it gives you or fast your heart is pumping just stand there take a deep breath and accept that your heart is racing and that it might not slow down. I started going to the gym with my mom, then by myself but lifted very light weight, then I started jogging but at a very slow pace. I constantly had panic attacks and even cut my workouts short at times because of the panic. But I kept doing it, rationalizing your fear helps too but not to the extend as just doing it and trying as hard as you can to accept the uncomfortable sensations. I started lifting heavy weight again and even started sprinting, and I would still constantly think about how this might affect me negatively and cause some anxiety but I was obviously doing much better because I was actually lifting heavy and running fast. After I would say 9 months of consistently facing my fears, I feel no worries about excersise any more. I wouldn't say I'm 100% like the way I was before my first panic attack but BELIEVE me when I say I'm 100 times better now. I do max reps with really heavy weight all the time now and don't even think or notice my heart rate any more. Eventually once you get accustomed to the anxiety the last step is that naturally your focus changes because of how little you care. 
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