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    Old 02-07-2006, 10:10 AM   #1
    yesmetoo
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    Anxiety and Exercise

    Am I crazy? Is it just me or does anyone else out there have a tremendous amount of anxiety just before beginning an exercise program? I have discovered something on my own that has helped me but I have to do this frequently, as even the thought of exercise raises my anxiety levels. I would like to know what you think. What kinds of things go through your head(s) when you think about exercise? Thanks for your input!

     
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    Old 02-07-2006, 12:28 PM   #2
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    Re: Anxiety and Exercise

    I have GAD, Socail Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Clostrophobia(sp) So going to a gym can be a huge task for me. When I first started out, I used to take a 5mg Xnanx pill 15 minutes before I went to the gym. That helped me stay calm and focused. I also bring along my ipod and play some music that can take my mind off of things, or help pump me up. I find that lifting weights is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. I've noticed quite a difference in my anxiety since I've started working out. I still take Meds, but I don't rely on Xnanx or fleeing from a crowd or such.

    Hope that helps.

     
    Old 02-07-2006, 12:51 PM   #3
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    Re: Anxiety and Exercise

    exercise is good for anxiety sufferers but it should be done in a relaxed way with no excess muscle tension, in other words, dont try too hard
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    Old 02-07-2006, 01:48 PM   #4
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    Re: Anxiety and Exercise

    What part of the program do you think about that gets your anxiety started? I've been dealing with anxiety for around 10 years and started working out regularly for two years now, 4-5 times a week. When I started exercising, it was mostly health related anxiety with my heart pounding away. But like all of my anxiety triggers, the more I faced it and dealt with it, the more I could ignore it in my head.

    I'm fairly aggressive with my routine. I do 45min - 1 hour cardio and about 30 min weight training each time at the gym. In dealing with anxiety and exercising, I now know that I want to be pretty fizzled out at the end of my routine as being very physically tired pretty much squashes all my anxiety. So knowing how I will feel after my workout helps me before my workout. I'm able to relieve my mental hang-ups before hand by knowing how I'll feel afterwards. But if your just starting a program, work into it slowly, don't go overboard at the begining. Get on something easy like a stationary bike, go slowly for a few minutes, pay attention to how you feel, your breathing, your heart rate, and think this is good for me and I want a certain heart rate. Pay attention to your self with a purpose, this is want you have to feel like to do your self good. Don't let anxiety sneak up and bite you because your breathing hard and your heart is pumping. Look forward to being burned out at the end of your routine.

     
    Old 02-07-2006, 02:23 PM   #5
    yesmetoo
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    Re: Anxiety and Exercise

    Thank you all for your insight and help. What I have experienced is what I call anxiety inertia, anxiety so paralyzing that I can't even touch my exercise equipment here at home. I know I should exercise. I know it will help me to feel better as it has in times past. I know my mental outlook will improve if I just do something. It's the "just getting started" that seems like the biggest obstacle. Let me back that up a notch, it's the anxiety about movement itself. Sometimes I can't even get out of bed because of it.
    I am working on something that I think will work for me and hopefully others like me. I stumbled upon it in one of my creative moments. It's a combination of things that I have heard about over the last several years but that have never been used in this way before. I'm in the experimental stage right now.
    It involves a combination of instantly interrupting thoughts and breathing techniques, the use of humor, and movement. It's really easy and so far it seems to be working. I'd like to write an article about it eventually. But for right now it's just one movement at a time.
    I welcome your comments, one and all. Thanks for taking the time with me.

     
    Old 02-07-2006, 03:29 PM   #6
    gib
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    Re: Anxiety and Exercise

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yesmetoo
    Thank you all for your insight and help. What I have experienced is what I call anxiety inertia, anxiety so paralyzing that I can't even touch my exercise equipment here at home. I know I should exercise. I know it will help me to feel better as it has in times past. I know my mental outlook will improve if I just do something. It's the "just getting started" that seems like the biggest obstacle. Let me back that up a notch, it's the anxiety about movement itself. Sometimes I can't even get out of bed because of it.
    LOL and holy cow! Sorry to laugh, but us anxiety veterans have earned the right to be so forward! Jesus, what our minds do to us... and I thought my anxiety was silly! Maybe we could start a new support group where everyone gets a good laugh...The wierd and strange effects anxiety has on our mental outlook! Do you have panic attacks also as a result of these situations?

     
    Old 02-07-2006, 04:49 PM   #7
    yesmetoo
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    Re: Anxiety and Exercise

    Yes, gib, I know it sounds silly, but it really can be quite devastating. Our minds (thoughts) are just a part of the whole problem of anxiety. It's origin is really a "brain" issue, isn't it? A result of a chemical imbalance that can be treated with medication.
    I am quite certain that I am not the only one who has experienced anxiety that can stop a person dead in his tracks.
    The humor that I talk about has nothing to do with making fun of the anxiety itself. In fact, the humor that I am talking about is completely unrelated to the anxiety or the object of my anxiety. It does, in fact, serve as a diversion, an interruption of the anxiety-producing thoughts, and immediately so. And yes, I do laugh or at least smile which short-circuits the anxiety before it really gets going.
    You asked if I experienced panic attacks as a result of these situations. No,
    I don't. I haven't had an all-out panic attack for a long time. Thanks for asking.
    Thank you, gib, for your thoughts on this.

     
    Old 02-08-2006, 08:58 AM   #8
    gib
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    Re: Anxiety and Exercise

    Take no offense in the way I stated anything, please, if that's what I read in your reply.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yesmetoo
    Yes, gib, I know it sounds silly, but it really can be quite devastating.
    1. Believe me, I've been there in my own way or as they say, been there, done that.

    Quote:
    Our minds (thoughts) are just a part of the whole problem of anxiety. It's origin is really a "brain" issue, isn't it? A result of a chemical imbalance that can be treated with medication.
    Perhaps in some cases, but it seems that anxiety problems are generally treated, across the board, with central nervous system depressents. That's what my doctor gave me, Xanax. I don't think that general perscription targets any specific chemical imbalance one might have, does it? Don't they test further for those kind of problems? I'm not a doctor so please correct me if off base here, I want to learn too. And I think you'll find a large majority of folks just plain do not want to be dependent on meds, certainly not CNS depressents, and we develop our own ways of coping.

    Quote:
    I am quite certain that I am not the only one who has experienced anxiety that can stop a person dead in his tracks.
    See 1. above

    Quote:
    The humor that I talk about has nothing to do with making fun of the anxiety itself. In fact, the humor that I am talking about is completely unrelated to the anxiety or the object of my anxiety. It does, in fact, serve as a diversion, an interruption of the anxiety-producing thoughts, and immediately so. And yes, I do laugh or at least smile which short-circuits the anxiety before it really gets going.
    Indeed, I use both kinds of humor you speak of in my little bag of coping tricks. Making fun of my anxiety is one method I employ before it flares up. But after it flares up it does me no good to either make fun or get angry about the anxiety, as it's already upon me, and as you indicate above, I have to try to think about something totally different and it may be humorous thoughts. Here's a wierd one, I sometimes pinch myself as pain diverts my thoughts pretty quickly, LOL

    Quote:
    You asked if I experienced panic attacks as a result of these situations. No,
    I don't. I haven't had an all-out panic attack for a long time. Thanks for asking.
    Thank you, gib, for your thoughts on this.
    Cheers!

     
    Old 02-08-2006, 11:18 AM   #9
    yesmetoo
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    Re: Anxiety and Exercise

    Thanks for clarifying things for me! I really appreciate it!
    I understand what you said about some people not wanting to be dependent on meds, especially CNS depressants. I am not taking any medication for anxiety at the present time, although I have explored alternative treatments and tried a few. Some are working.
    There was one drug a few years ago that my doctor prescribed that slows down the electrical impulses that travel along the spinal cord to the brain. I can't remember the name of it right now. It also had adverse sexual side effects so I stopped taking it eventually.
    Some of the newer meds can be used to treat both anxiety and depression and fall into the "antidepressant" category, rather than the CNS depressant category.
    There are certain tests that can be performed for other problems that do involve anxiety -- OCD for example. My doc told me that an brain scan will actually show lesions on the brain of someone with severe OCD.
    My history with antidepressants is extensive as I have a low tolerance for side effects. My treatment basically consisted of looking for something to block the reuptake (thereby preventing the depletion of) of the "suspect" neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine, the chemical messengers between nerve synapses in the brain). It was trial and error, although some bloodwork was done to rule out underlying causes of rapid heartbeat and depression, like thyroid function tests, cortisol levels, vitamin B levels, etc.
    Chemical therapy has helped me in times past. Yes, the brain can come back into balance again after a chemical imbalance, according to my doctor, at which point, medication can be discontinued.
    Oh and I wanted to tell you that you really hit on something with pinching yourself -- you interrrupted the electrical impulses of anxiety by increasing sensory input (in this case, by inflicting pain on yourself) to the brain. Yes it does work and that's why. First of all it is immediate, and that is where we hope to stop the anxiety - at the outset of an attack. As long as you aren't leaving black and blue marks.

     
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