How does everyone cope with the stress of exercising?



  • Shortgirlrunning
    Shortgirlrunning Posts: 1,023 Member
    What are you doing for exercise? Typically exercise tends to be something that reduces stress for people.

    I love to listen to podcasts on my walks and I listen to all sorts of stuff on my runs. Maybe you need to listen to something while you workout?
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,764 Member
    Exercise helps me manage stress, but if you are doing things that leave your mind focusing on stressful thoughts (I tend to go into more of a meditative state when doing something like running), maybe try music or podcasts? When I don't feel like doing a workout the thought of listening to a new playlist I've made or a favorite podcast is motivating.
  • lgfrie
    lgfrie Posts: 1,446 Member
    edited July 2020
    I had to read the question twice to be sure I was reading it correctly - it's literally never occurred to me that exercise could be a source of stress. I find cardio so pleasantly escapist relative to all the stresses, strains, and s**t in my life right now that I can't wait to get on that machine each day, and I start to feel a sense of loss about 5 minutes before my hour is up LOL Maybe when this corona thing is in the rear view mirror I'll feel differently, but if I could just stay on my bike 16 hours a day I'd be pretty OK with that :D I concur with the various above posters who suggest the exercise anxiety is probably a symptom not the cause & that the best thing here would be to get to the bottom of what's causing the anxiety.

    slunburg wrote: »
    I havent been able to get my hands on a treadmill (thought i did but amazon let me down)

    So, ive not been doing any workouts so far and have simply just been using my daily walking at work for it.

    Lost 40lbs so far.

    Do what you need to do to be happy, if workouts are not your cup of tea, find something that is.

    Have you tried Facebook marketplace? All of my cardio equipment came used from Facebook marketplace. I picked up an older concept2 rower yesterday for $100! I was super excited about that one.

    Yeah i looked but i dont drive, nor do i know someone with a truck, and none of them looked like they had been well kept enough to pay hundreds of dollars for


    Like this one.. lol

    lol I have a feeling you can do much, much better than that for $300 :)
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,582 Member
    I got that treadmill for $150, the arc trainer for $100, the bike for $100, and a concept2 (not pictured) for $100. You just need to be a savvy shopper 😜
  • MommaGemz
    MommaGemz Posts: 437 Member
    Really good music :smiley:
  • Jacq_qui
    Jacq_qui Posts: 347 Member
    That sounds like general anxiety to me.

    Intrusive thoughts can be managed...exercise is actually good for that in the long-run, but in the short term I would highly suggest breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. That mind chatter is exhausting, and if you've spent your life trying to quiet that with staying busy or watching TV or whatever you've been doing to keep it knocked back - - - - it's time to give yourself a break. ((hug))

    There are a lot of meditation apps, someone mentioned Headspace above...also look up breathing techniques like the 4 7 8 technique or Box Breathing.

    100% this. Yoga was the first sort of meditation that I ever tried, focusing on the positions really helped. Lots of people who are 'permanently busy' find that as soon as they stop for a second, everything catches up with them!

    There are lots of mindful activities you could try, and in reality you could try any activity mindfully, but meditation is usually the most effective (and the hardest sometimes) practice of them all. There are lots of books and guided meditations, youtube videos, apps and so on, I'd suggest starting there rather than just sitting down and trying to sit. Daily Calm on youtube have some really nice ten minute ones. There are also 3minute breathing space meditations and that might be enough for you to work on if your mind is incredibly busy.

  • puboochu
    puboochu Posts: 48 Member
    Music, loud pump me up music 😂
    Or, like others have said, try doing something that requires your focus..
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,161 Member
    I struggle keeping my mind from wandering with music so I've switched exclusively to podcasts, mostly sports talk radio and it just let's me zone out really easily.
  • Pittgirl3
    Pittgirl3 Posts: 69 Member
    betsycech wrote: »
    How does everyone cope with the stress of daily exercise? The time to think and the non-stop brain chatter during my workouts are driving my stress levels sky high. How does everyone calm their minds while working out? This added stress cannot be good for me.

    I watch YouTube videos about stuff that I’m interested in. So I have to focus on what I’m watching. I essentially create a playlist with different videos. Sometimes I throw in music videos to switch things up, but it’s mostly videos.
    I also listen to podcasts. They go through different topics so even if I do zone out and start thinking about my stressors, I tune back in when they switch topics.
  • Pittgirl3
    Pittgirl3 Posts: 69 Member
    Podcasts. Only drawback is, I’m addicted to the true crime ones and my neck is getting an extra workout spinning back and forth to make sure no ones following me!

    Which ones do you listen to?
  • RunsWithBees
    RunsWithBees Posts: 1,508 Member
    betsycech wrote: »
    How does everyone cope with the stress of daily exercise? The time to think and the non-stop brain chatter during my workouts are driving my stress levels sky high. How does everyone calm their minds while working out? This added stress cannot be good for me.

    Remember you are allowed to have rest days! You don’t have to (nor should you) exercise vigorously every single day. I agree with the majority of the thread responses that say exercise actually helps relieve stress, not cause it. Maybe sit down and try to pinpoint what aspects of working out stress you out and try different strategies to alleviate them. Try different activities until you find something that feels more like fun and less like work. I started out from a lifetime of being sedentary and now I’m an avid runner, but it took years and lots of trial and error to get to this point. Start slow and gradually work your way up to more challenges but definitely go easy on yourself! :)
  • RockingWithLJ
    RockingWithLJ Posts: 216 Member
    betsycech wrote: »
    How does everyone cope with the stress of daily exercise? The time to think and the non-stop brain chatter during my workouts are driving my stress levels sky high. How does everyone calm their minds while working out? This added stress cannot be good for me.

    Exercising is more of a mental challenge than a physical one and having the right mindset before starting a workout is important. What are your goals for that workout? If you do not set any, then you're more likely to fail than to succeed. If you're lifting weights, are you lifting more? If you're doing more body weight moves, can you do more than the last time? How is your tracking been? Once you set your mind right, you'll find it relieves stress.
    If you still feel stressed after doing that, then I think you're doing the wrong type of exercise.
    Find a few quizzes on google and see what the best exercise would be for you based on your goals and what you enjoy might assist. I found this one but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try others and find a good fit:
  • ExistingFish
    ExistingFish Posts: 1,190 Member
    I have the same problem (and for the record, I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so I won't disagree with the poster that said it may be it as it may be a symptom). I tend to think through my day, think about the emails I need to send when I go back to work, etc.

    I listen to music. I manage the thoughts by turning up the volume and switching to a song I am more into.

    I really only get this at the beginning of my workout, by the end I'm completely absorbed in the workout. Taking too long of rest periods allows me to get distracted, so timing my rest periods helps.

    Exercise is my stress relief. It's part of my anxiety management plan. It helps so much. I don't look forward to rest days, I wish I didn't have them. I honestly want to do a 5 or 6 day a week program now, but getting to the gym without childcare is hard. Like I realized that tomorrow and the next day are rest days, and I was disappointed.
  • HeidiCooksSupper
    HeidiCooksSupper Posts: 3,830 Member
    I like listening to The Honest Guys meditations on Youtube. In particular, the "Running with Wolves" 18+ minute session is great for walking or running. Consider it to be "directed daydreaming." Let the calm voice have your attention and let go of other thoughts. Worries can be put aside until later.
  • ExistingFish
    ExistingFish Posts: 1,190 Member
    I thought about cycling on a stationary bike as well, you could safely listen to music or a podcast or meditation, watch TV - or you could read while you ride. It's much more comfortable.

    Do you have somewhere you can walk? Does your vertigo make regular walking difficult? My dad walks for exercise. He walks outside, but you could do it on a track or at a mall (if they are open, with a mask and social distancing of course).

    Do you have access to somewhere you can swim for exercise? Would that help?

    There are people on this site that lose and maintain weight with diet alone. You don't have to force yourself to exercise, but it definitely helps.
  • terrmadden
    terrmadden Posts: 13 Member
    @betsycech - I sympathize with you - I absolutely hate hate hate exercise, too. The only physical activity I like doing is swimming (splashing around) in ocean waves, and I really can’t do that anymore due to geographic location. I currently do yoga, which helps keep me kinda flexible, and low impact aerobics, but really hate doing any exercise at all. You are not alone! Hugs and good luck to you.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 9,438 Member
    It is extremely likely that your apparent weight change when you stop exercising may have something to do with changes in carbohydrate intake that may take place at the same time.

    If you are a low carb eater there are extreme water weight changes associated with eating at a reduced carb level and eating at a more traditional level of carbs. This is NOT FAT WEIGHT. But it IS scale weight.

    ANY CHANGE IN WEIGHT you see at the LBS PER DAY LEVEL are WATER WEIGHT. Unless you managed to consume an extra 3500 Cal ABOVE MAINTENANCE per lb of weight change between your two scale measurements.

    PLEASE DISCUSS THIS with your advisors as it is a major stressor for people who eat low carb but occasionally "slip".

    Furthermore please consider that "exercise" doesn't have to be "exercise". I am more active and burn more calories when I am visiting my dad (because I am trying to sort out and clean out his place) than when I am at home where I regularly "exercise". Seriously. More calories burned there. Because at home I am at a computer for 14 hours and "exercising" for 2. But at his place I am up and about moving around for 14 hours. At the computer for two. And exercising for ZERO.

    And I am going to be a *kitten* disturber and even tell you that you don't even have to be out of breath for your moderate level activity (as defined by WHO / MET level criteria) to be a net contributor to your health and caloric burn.

    If you don't enjoy the activity, consider doing activities that you could combine with listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks, talking to people on the phone, or even watching tv/videos (though I feel that the last on often results in relatively more reduced performance levels as compared to the others)