Anxiety While Exercising - Anyone Have It?

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Replies

  • kamakazeekim
    kamakazeekim Posts: 1,183 Member
    I get panic attacks when I try to work out. I CANNOT workout in front of other people...especially not running.
  • Happy to see I'm not alone, sad to see so many others with the same issue. I've had lots of problems with anxiety, mostly due to having bad managers at work and a whole lot of "over thinking". Everything in the news seems to say overweight = walking dead. So, at 44yrs and about 255lbs (down from a lifttime "high" of 317), I'm constantly worried about my heart though two perfect stress tests, great bp, and "near optimal" cholesterol should tell me I'm ok.

    But when I start anything like walking, snow blowing, or lawn mowing, I start worrying that the next step will be my last. So it's hard to get my heart beating fast when I think it's going to go wildly out of control and explode. Sounds overly dramatic but sometimes I feel that way.

    Listening to music doesn't help much, but having someone next to me to talk to take my mind off things, then I'm usually just fine. I haven't had a knockdown-dragout panic attack in over a year and some. Non-medicated too, though some days I think I should be.
  • brandipoo
    brandipoo Posts: 63 Member
    Wow. Really happy to see this post revived. Well I wish we didn't have this issue, but glad to see I'm not alone. :)
  • heidikg22
    heidikg22 Posts: 11 Member
    It appears when I have read up on this the majorityof people tend to be in their mid 20's like myself

    I started to get better and got through the whole of February with doing ok at netball and then I played netball last Thursday and pushes myself to carry on playing as it was an intense game. After the game I was red faced and knackered because I haven't been pushing myself as much as I did and I sat in my car for 15 minutes before driving home. Then I got home and had a panic attack :-( It was like a relief it was over but when I get myself to that state I try and convince myself im ok but its hard.

    I just can wait until I am over this because exercise is suppose to make you feel better. I have 2 dogs too and taken them for walks but some days when my anxiety is peaked I take a short cut and shorten the walk because I start having anxious thoughts and think about how far away from home I am.

    Good luck everyone with this I hope you all get there too!! Im adamant I am going to beat this and be afraid no more!!
  • arabellaflagg
    arabellaflagg Posts: 28 Member
    Thanks for keeping this thread going Heidi. I can relate.

    When I was 16 my granddad died suddenly of cardiac arrest. He was a late 60s, normal weight, good diet, played squash, mowed lawns in his complex, no symptoms at all. At my cousins graduation he stood up to get a napkin, I passed him one he sat down on a lawn chair his head dropped back and mouth opened and that was that. My uncles tried to revive him but to no avail. I was seriously traumatised but didn't want to bother the adults with my problems and suffered anxiety for a few years afterwards. I worried about my dad because my family requested no autopsy so we never knew the root cause if the cardiac arrest. No bueno if it's an inherited heart defect.
    My gd's sister passed in the same way a few months later and couple that with (so funny that you also mentioned this Heidi!) news reports of older men dropping while jogging and young people dying suddenly on the football field and at marathons and I could not even attempt to exercise without a panic attack from 16 to about 20.

    Missed out on all the great classes and facilities at my college:-(. I slowly started recovering by attempting at home DVDs and thankfully I am now 99.999% 'cured'. Very occasionally I'll have those thoughts creep in especially if I've just heard of a young person dying suddenly but I stop, sit and do some deep breathing and try to exhale the panic if that makes sense.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful but thought I'd share and let you know you're not alone and a recovery is possible.
  • ottermotorcycle
    ottermotorcycle Posts: 654 Member
    Maybe this is because of an increased heart rate? And if you lose your rhythm (which anxiety tends to do) you can find it difficult to catch your breath, does that happen?

    If your heart is beating fast and hard and your breathing is labored and you're in a public place.... well, I think naturally you're going to have anxiety about it, because that feels a hell of a lot like a panic attack already. The coping skills for this will be the same as the coping skills for any instance of anxiety. Remind yourself that you are safe and these are normal reactions that your body has. I also really like lavender for anxiety, so maybe a lavender spritz before the gym will help you out.
  • KeepSmiling76
    KeepSmiling76 Posts: 11 Member
    For ANYONE suffering from anxiety, please Google "Panic Away" with Barry McDonagh....hoping to buy this program soon. Sign up for emails from him.....he's been my TRUE INSPIRATION. Good luck! Keep smiling! :)
  • SwampWitch666
    SwampWitch666 Posts: 110 Member
    I'm the opposite. Exercising is one of the few things that naturally /helps/ my anxiety.
  • KeepSmiling76
    KeepSmiling76 Posts: 11 Member
    Google or subscribe to Barry McDonagh....he's the best and his email brighten up my day. He's a TRUE inspiration. I've been suffering the same symptoms as you for over 25 years. Very scary, frustrating, and this takes up a lot of our lives because we allow it. It's an everyday struggle and fight, but it's about learning how to "control" those negative thoughts, which again, is VERY hard to do but NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Good Luck to you and believe me, there IS HOPE. You need to KEEP SMILING! :) (No matter what)
  • I too suffer with anxiety and is the reason why I will not go to a gym.. I have generalized anxiety and panic disorder but I tend to "panic" when I workout and I feel my heart pumping ( I know that's what it's supposed to do but I am very aware of my heart beat even when I'm not exercising).. I'm always thinking oh boy is my heart rate to hard/ fast and what if it doesn't slow down or what if I have a heart attack.. It sounds strange and no I do not have any issue with my heart but this is my way of thinking and it's horrible.. I'm glad I'm not alone and this thread got a lot of responses.. Just remember you are not alone and that always make it better
  • elmarty30
    elmarty30 Posts: 1
    ever since I quit going to the gym I gained 20 extra pounds now that im back to the gym I been having a hard time exercising, but I also suffer from anxiety and now that I want to get back in shape its hard, I fell anxiest and short of breath when working out.. so I relax and take a break, but it keeps me from doing a hard work out just like I use to before... I tried once to over do it but an strong anxiety caught and I ended up in the ER.. typical no signs of heart problems.. my anxiety started in the year 2000 I got in a horrible accident and ever since I haven't been the same.. it took 3 years of therapy, excersice and medicine and finally it was gone for good, but in 2007 while vacationing in Costa Rica up in a Volcano I got a very strong shortness of breath in the swimming pool I got a paniac attack and my shortness of breath began it was a horrible vacation that when I returned to the states I visited my doctor and he said it was an anxiety or PTSD and ever since it comes and goes the shortness of breath and anxiety attacks but I already learn how to cope with it thanks to my old doctors from back in 2000 bbut theres times that there so strong that you have no choice than to hit the ER iven though you know its an anxiety attack.. it sucks living like this but exercise helped me back in 2000 and im sure it can help anyone out there but slowly.. don't give up people keep trying one step at a time...!!
  • Thom_Kat
    Thom_Kat Posts: 17 Member
    Maybe this is because of an increased heart rate? And if you lose your rhythm (which anxiety tends to do) you can find it difficult to catch your breath, does that happen?

    If your heart is beating fast and hard and your breathing is labored and you're in a public place.... well, I think naturally you're going to have anxiety about it, because that feels a hell of a lot like a panic attack already. The coping skills for this will be the same as the coping skills for any instance of anxiety. Remind yourself that you are safe and these are normal reactions that your body has. I also really like lavender for anxiety, so maybe a lavender spritz before the gym will help you out.

    I came here to basically say this. My anxiety is sometimes triggered when I run. More than anything, I think it has to do with my mental reaction to an increased heart rate. Maybe your reasons are different but I think it comes down to what is going on physiologically and a natural tendency to have anxiety. Coping skills have helped me a lot. I've learned to acknowledge the anxiety and remind myself where it originates. From there, I can refocus my energy on what I'm doing, even if I have to remind myself a few times. That tends to help with my general anxiety during everyday life too.
  • Burjuva
    Burjuva Posts: 1
    Im so glad i came across this thread. I feel like im not alone and i can overcome this situation in my head, lots of love
  • wills_mum
    wills_mum Posts: 7
    I have this too. I've had anxiety most of my life. When I was only three years old I would take a mini panic attack and throw up every single night and morning. As I got older my anxiety got worse and by the time I was 14 I had to go on homeschool because I couldn't leave my house without taking a full blown panic attack. Just walking out my door made me feel like I was dying. Couldn't breath, heart racing, spots in front my eyes, felt like I was going to pass out, and that was everytime I left my house at all. It did get better, I learned what causes anxiety and techniques that help but when I workout I find it still gets really bad. My hearts racing and think "omigosh what if I take a heart attack or a stroke" and I can't breath like when you take a panic attack and I get really nervous and anxious.
    I'm sorry so many people feel the same although nice to know I'm not alone. Good luck everyone!
  • yankny631
    yankny631 Posts: 1,147 Member
    I had this happen to me today. I was wearing a hrm when I got off the elliptical my heart rate was 118. I felt hot & overheated noticed my heart rate increasing went to go step outside for air & saw I was up to 180. I told the guy at the front desk at the gym luckily he was an emt & super sweet. Told me to breathe & of course it went down. We chit chatted a bit I thanked him profusely for being so nice the. I went to the tread to finish my workout. Within 5 mins it started again. This time I got myself down then went home to relax. Now I'm fearful that this is going to happen again. I'm so tired of this damn anxiety.
  • leahjones06
    leahjones06 Posts: 1 Member
    It's such a shame we suffer from this terrible disorder but it's nice to know I'm not the only one. I have been suffering with anxiety attacks for almost 10 years, after my gran was diagnosed with cancer. It has morphed from one thing to another. I've been anxious I was going to swollow my tongue, have heart attacks etc etc. Recently I have been hitting the gym, I'm fine with weight or kickboxing classes but recently in my spin class I really panic when I get out of breath. I feel I need to take deep breaths but as I'm panting and my chest is tight it's really difficult to, and then the major panic sets in. I've walked out of the class the past couple of times and mostly just feel really disappointed with myself. That's what I hate most about my anxiety, it affecting my life and stopping me from doing stuff, it's so tiring and boring constantly worrying. Maybe I should try councelling again... Good luck to everyone suffering, hopefully one day we will get over it!
  • sheth77
    sheth77 Posts: 5 Member
    I am 37 yrs old and had my first panic attack when I was 19. My heart rate was 150+ for over 2 hours. The doctors told me to lay off caffine, no cigaretts, or any other stimulant. For about a month I had pretty bad attacks everyday and I was so scared because no one told me it was Anxiety. I really thought there was something seriously wrong with me. My father would hold me when I would have the attacks, I was so scared and lost.
    After going to the ER numerous times someone finally gave me a xanex to calm me down then told me that it was a panic attack. Then they started shoving drugs in my face, here take this. They just turned me into someone that felt nothing. A zombie as they call it. I was fed up feeling this way and was determined to fight and cure myself.
    I can now say after almost 20 years of this terrible disorder it's not a Disorder. It has to do with our chemicals in our bodies. MAINLY Cortisol and Serotonin and the MAGIC Vitamin D. First off, get a Vitamin Panel and take a close look at your Vitamin D. If it's under 25 then get it fixed. Go out in the sun, take supplements for it. Vitamin D is our MOOD vitamin.. makes us Happy. Mine was at 18.. VERY LOW Once I started Making sure I got an hour of sun a day and was taking 2000 IU of Vitamin D My anxiety DROPPED sooo much..
    My second thing I did was EAT CLEAN, and clean I mean not ONE processed thing goes in my mouth and I stopped eatiog beef. Stuck to chicken and fish. I was at one point 270+ lbs and having attacks at least 2 times a month. I have since lost over 100 lbs.
    Fish, Fish, Fish oh how it will reduce your Cortisol by 20% if you eat it 3 times a week. Cortisol is our ENEMY. If you Sit down alot at a desk job or a driving job... Cortisol is being released, making you fat and stressed. It's funny everytime I get stressed I'm like internally yelling at my Cortisol and saying "You're making me fat!" lol.
    Anyway Long story I know but, I have been through it all when it comes to anxiety and I still have it to this day, BUT it has been reduced so much that it's pretty much not even there.

    My point is DON'T take the meds that the doctors push on you. They are not cures, they are only Bandaids. Find out the CAUSE. I find taking a 2000 IU Vitamin D when I get some anxiety it goes away in about 20 minutes. That's just me though.. Do your own research and get your vitamin panels done... You are LOW on something and if you can control your chemicals and vitamin levels in your body .. your Body will be in BALANCE.. and we are having anxiety because our bodies are telling us something is wrong and we need to fix it.
  • babyj0
    babyj0 Posts: 531 Member
    sheth77 wrote: »
    I am 37 yrs old and had my first panic attack when I was 19. My heart rate was 150+ for over 2 hours. The doctors told me to lay off caffine, no cigaretts, or any other stimulant. For about a month I had pretty bad attacks everyday and I was so scared because no one told me it was Anxiety. I really thought there was something seriously wrong with me. My father would hold me when I would have the attacks, I was so scared and lost.
    After going to the ER numerous times someone finally gave me a xanex to calm me down then told me that it was a panic attack. Then they started shoving drugs in my face, here take this. They just turned me into someone that felt nothing. A zombie as they call it. I was fed up feeling this way and was determined to fight and cure myself.
    I can now say after almost 20 years of this terrible disorder it's not a Disorder. It has to do with our chemicals in our bodies. MAINLY Cortisol and Serotonin and the MAGIC Vitamin D. First off, get a Vitamin Panel and take a close look at your Vitamin D. If it's under 25 then get it fixed. Go out in the sun, take supplements for it. Vitamin D is our MOOD vitamin.. makes us Happy. Mine was at 18.. VERY LOW Once I started Making sure I got an hour of sun a day and was taking 2000 IU of Vitamin D My anxiety DROPPED sooo much..
    My second thing I did was EAT CLEAN, and clean I mean not ONE processed thing goes in my mouth and I stopped eatiog beef. Stuck to chicken and fish. I was at one point 270+ lbs and having attacks at least 2 times a month. I have since lost over 100 lbs.
    Fish, Fish, Fish oh how it will reduce your Cortisol by 20% if you eat it 3 times a week. Cortisol is our ENEMY. If you Sit down alot at a desk job or a driving job... Cortisol is being released, making you fat and stressed. It's funny everytime I get stressed I'm like internally yelling at my Cortisol and saying "You're making me fat!" lol.
    Anyway Long story I know but, I have been through it all when it comes to anxiety and I still have it to this day, BUT it has been reduced so much that it's pretty much not even there.

    My point is DON'T take the meds that the doctors push on you. They are not cures, they are only Bandaids. Find out the CAUSE. I find taking a 2000 IU Vitamin D when I get some anxiety it goes away in about 20 minutes. That's just me though.. Do your own research and get your vitamin panels done... You are LOW on something and if you can control your chemicals and vitamin levels in your body .. your Body will be in BALANCE.. and we are having anxiety because our bodies are telling us something is wrong and we need to fix it.

    Wow. This was so helpful!

    I am currently going through the same thing, and am completely clueless and scared. I got blood work done about a week ago, but won't get results until my next appointment.

    I had my very first "panic attack" on Saturday while I was driving. It was the worst feeling in the world! I had to pull over to the shoulder (I was on the freeway) because I felt like I was going to pass the eff out. I couldn't breath. I was shaking. Horrible. I called the bf to stay with me until I finally calmed down.

    But for about a week now, I have been having these burning sensations in my chest for no damn reason. And often I feel short of breath.

    I am only 25... and wondering if I should keep up with my workouts? I'm still trying to figure out what triggers these symptoms.

  • kCalCrusher
    kCalCrusher Posts: 54 Member
    I too suffer with anxiety and is the reason why I will not go to a gym.. I have generalized anxiety and panic disorder but I tend to "panic" when I workout and I feel my heart pumping ( I know that's what it's supposed to do but I am very aware of my heart beat even when I'm not exercising).. I'm always thinking oh boy is my heart rate to hard/ fast and what if it doesn't slow down or what if I have a heart attack.. It sounds strange and no I do not have any issue with my heart but this is my way of thinking and it's horrible.. I'm glad I'm not alone and this thread got a lot of responses.. Just remember you are not alone and that always make it better

    I'm in the same boat as you. I was obsessed with my heart rate for a long time. It was a horrible cycle of "oh no, my heart feels fast" then anxiety makes it beat even faster and blah... horrible. To make it worse I would freak out about my blood pressure because I thought they were related so then when I would get it taken at the doctors of course it would be high which added another heart fear to it. Crazy stuff.

    I just posted about feeling shaky, dizzy and nauseous after working out this morning. I read up and it makes sense. The right amount of exercise suppresses adrenalin, but over exertion or cardio increases adrenaline which causes rapid heartbeat, shakiness, shortness of breath- all the stuff people with anxiety associate with an attack. Of course we would interpret it as a threat. I talked to my therapist about it too and he said just challenge it... if my anxiety tells me stop then push myself to see what happens. Easier said than done when in the moment, but the whole talking back and challenging what the anxiety tells me works when I catch it quick. I'm surprised there are so many people in the same boat.