Anxiety and physical exercise get along very well, although sometimes it may seem the opposite. Physical exercise is fundamental to our recovery from anxiety, but it is important to know how much and when to do it, as well as with what attitude to do it, otherwise, you may mistakenly believe that anxiety raises you.
In this post I share more about how to exercise again, and at the end I share a video of the same subject.
On what occasions can we feel bad about exercising?
Exercise by itself doesn’t hurt, but there are some occasions when anxiety can increase, for example:
- When we do too much exercise without the physical condition that allows it, that is, we take our body beyond its capacity, this puts it in a state of stress, because it requires more internal resources than it has, more energy, more blood capacity, and if we do not have anxiety previously, the only thing that would happen is that we would feel hyper tired, we would take something refreshing and we would rest, but if we have anxiety, when this happens, tiredness is interpreted as something dangerous.
- when you have previously had chest pain or tachycardia, and when you do aerobic exercise, no matter how slight, but your heart rate increases, and you relate it to anxiety and you think “it’s already giving me again”, at that moment, effectively, you generated anxiety, but by the interpretation you gave to your heart rate.
- when you are in a state of extreme tiredness, because many times in your daily routine you are exhausted, you survive thanks to coca cola and coffees, you sleep little, you maintain an accelerated rhythm and as you feel tired you say… “I need exercise to wake up”, and this is a mistake, because what you need to do when you are tired is… rest, that is, sleep, relax your shoulders, relax?
- when you haven’t exercised in a long time and from one day to the next you go back to the zumba class or to the high impact box, obviously, obviously that you will feel bad when you finish, but this evil is only because of the imbalance, because of the shock of doing something different, it doesn’t mean that you have already generated an irreversible and terminal damage, or anything like that, it simply means that you need to recover your condition little by little.
Whatever the reason why you felt bad at the end of the exercise, it is important that you see it for what it is: you are experiencing internal physical changes caused by a physical overdemand you gave to your body, your body is doing the best it can to regain its balance, help it! and instead of scaring you… rest, take a deep breath, and hydrate yourself well.
It is important that you avoid interpreting it as “I’ve scrubbed again”, or something like that, and that you know that as soon as you recover your balance you will feel good again, but you need to let your body do what it does best: subsist in balance.
Now, when might we like to exercise?
Exercise itself is beneficial. Imagine that before, when we were cavemen, all the energy we consumed through food was spent immediately afterwards, precisely to obtain more food.
You need to have a balance between the energy that comes in and the energy that goes out to your body, the energy comes in through food, then accumulates inside your body if you do not release it, and before an excess of energy is that then gives us insomnia or anxiety attacks. So of course, of course, you need to exercise if you are experiencing anxiety.
Peeeero, you need to go little by little. Because I love how we humans are, we have 2 years without moving the body more than to move from bed to kitchen, and from one day to the next we want to go to the same step of the dancer in front of us (which, dances better than you even if you are a woman jejeje), run the 2 km as all of the Nike race and see us smiling for the photo at the end.
That’s not how it works, you need to release the energy you have accumulated and recover your physical condition little by little…
How do I recommend that you exercise?
Walking to release accumulated energy
The first recommendation is that you go for a half-hour walk, 3 times a day.
In this walk, try to pay attention to the aspects of nature that you can observe: the sky, the trees, the moon if you want to go out at night … the song of birds, the feeling of the breeze on your skin … and then, you can pay attention to the sounds of cars or any human emission, and do this mindfully, ie without judging, accepting any sound, smell and vision that comes into your reality. When you escape to your negative thoughts, you observe it, and come back to observe what surrounds you.
Then, increase this walk until you do it about 5 times a week, there is no right rhythm in this, but you feel when it is time to add one more.
Low Impact Exercises
Since you are comfortable with these walks, then I recommend that you start taking some of the following classes:
- yoga (hatha or kundalini)
- tai chi
Or any exercise that is low-impact, and that activates your breathing and coordination. I recommend you do these exercises when your anxiety is below moderate, because sometimes we are very high in anxiety and we get to yoga class, simply to frustrate us of how desperate we feel and that we don’t reach the little toe.
That’s why the walks are for you to decrease your internal energy to such a degree that they allow you to do these other exercises, and let’s say that these exercises will help you to be even more in the present and make the blood now run better through your body in a more effective way.
After you’re comfortable with some of the past exercises, then you can move on to Zumba dance classes, but take it easy at first, or Tae Bo classes to get rid of your anger, or any other aerobic style in your gym. Or, that you go to play tennis, squash or a similar sport with a friend.
The spinning classes, I recommend that you include them little by little and without giving so many turns to the wheel of resistance in the beginning. Or now you can jog every time you go for a walk at home.
And finally, if you want to focus on strengthening your body even more, you can add exercises that include more use of your strength, even yoga itself can be quiet or high performance, at this stage would enter high performance yoga, spinning classes more than once a week, and participate in some marathon from time to time or start counting the time between each lap of swimming.