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Topic: How to get motivated to exercise whilst living with anxiety?

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    275 posts
    1 May 2021

    Hi all,

    Wondering if anyone has tips on exercising whilst living with anxiety. I’ve had GAD (generalised anxiety) since childhood, am somewhat overweight and have never been able to stick to exercise well. I realise this is true for most people regardless of whether they have good or bad mental health, but isn’t it ironic, a thing which can improve your health and longevity and your mood and life in general is so hard to do. Even when you want to do it.

    To make things worse I work full time and study and have 2 young kids and lots of creative projects (eg songwriting and recording, blogging). So definitely having too much on my plate is a problem.

    But anyway just wondering if anyone with anxiety had tips or stories to share for getting it done?

  2. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1311 posts
    1 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Hi Here2Talk,

    :) I found exercise one of the best things to do for anxiety....... getting it done.... you can keep it simple walking... I like to walk in my suburb I add in hills for a bit more of a challenge.... slot a time in your day that suits you... make this decision the day before and don’t let anything stop you from doing it.... with little children if you don’t have some one who can take care of them they could go with you in pram, scooter or bike... 😊

    I find the more you exercise it becomes a habit and you tend to look forward to it after a little while 😊

    I like to practice mindfulness when I’m out walking....

    you can also find some great exercise routines on u tube ... I’ve done a few and getting out on a push bike is great 😊

    just go for it! Don’t let anything stop you even if it’s for 20 minutes a day... you can always increase later 😊 enjoy

  3. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15268 posts
    2 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Hello Here2Talk, can I join Petal in agreeing that walking is a good way to exercise or take the kids down to the park, fly a kite, kick a ball or take them swimming, that way you can stretch all the movements in your joints that you may not be able to do, it feels terrific, because you're weightless.

    Sometimes when we feel anxious some people try and flood their day in doing as much as they can, this may and can work while you're doing everything, but there comes a point when all you want to do is to collapse in a chair, that's when the problem begins, because you can't simply exhaust yourself with doing so much, it causes problems.

    Priorities in your life need to be organised, although I can't say what you should be doing, it's only a suggestion, but would like to know what you're studying and whether or not you can extend the time needed to complete this course, giving you more time.

    Your health is very important.


  4. Guest_206
    Guest_206 avatar
    87 posts
    2 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Hi Here2Talk,

    I've learnt along the way that rather than looking at it as exercise, try to find some kind of joyful movement - some kind of movement that you actually enjoy. If you dont enjoy it, it wont stick and will be a chore and a "should". Whether that be walking, swimming, hula hooping, dancing in your room to music - whatever brings you joy.

    X g

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    702 posts
    3 May 2021

    I love getting out and about.

    When I don't have the motivation to go for a walk or go to my martial arts training - I think of the positives.

    'If I walk by the river, I get to see the sights again or the ducks by the pond etc' Thats enough to get me out of the house.

    Another thing I find helpful is group sports - its extremely daunting at first and does take a while to settle into things but once you find yourself a great group of people to train/play sport with you find yourself wanting to go back.

  6. socialmoth
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    socialmoth avatar
    79 posts
    3 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Hi Here2Talk,

    I find it really hard to exercise too. My anxiety gets triggered when I feel like someone is going to judge me or I'm going to stuff something up, so being overweight and putting myself in a vulnerable position like exercise is really daunting.

    For me, I rescued two dogs who I love to look after, so I walk them every day. It's almost like forced exercise which is good for all parties involved! Another thing I have found helps me is if I go for a walk I will listen to a podcast so it feels like I'm doing something else.

    I've also found doing everything in the morning before work helps me feel better for the rest of the day. I get a lot more done at work and uni when I've exercised in the morning. I hope this and everyone else's posts help :)

  7. Oak123
    Oak123 avatar
    1 posts
    6 May 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Hi Here2Talk,

    Connecting to the great ideas already shared by others, I too agree that getting into a routine/habit is an important part of exercise. Easier said then done, I know, but if you also finds something that motivates you to walk/exercise I found that useful. For example, I used to get up early to see the sunrise whilst on a walk and then grab a coffee from my local cafe. Even if it is 10-20 minutes it’s something! My motivation was the beautiful sunrise, getting out into nature and my favourite beverage! It took about two weeks and then it became a habit and didn’t feel like a massive effort (although at the beginning it definitely was).

    Unfortunately after two months I fell out of this routine and now recognise how important that walk and ‘me’ time was in the morning. I have learned not to be hard on myself and just try my best. I too need to get back into the habit. So this thread has been a nice gentle reminder to me as I know how important exercise is in managing anxiety.

    I hope you can find something you enjoy and find a time in the day to dedicate to moving your body.

  8. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    275 posts
    6 May 2021 in reply to Oak123

    Hi Oak,

    That sounds beautiful, walking to your coffee shop and seeing nature and sunrise. What made you stop? Just gets hard getting up early??

    Lots of other good posts here I plan on replying to, I hate the idea of not replying to people but life is so busy....

    I have to get up early just to go to work at 6:30am, so it’s a struggle just to get up and shovel food into my mouth and get dressed. Always heightened anxiety in the morning. Generalised anxiety for me so literally from every time I turn and wake from 2am or thereabouts is filled with dread about getting up and thinking of every thing I have to do that day.

    I actually got up 4am and 4:30 one weekend, and it was amazing, I went and studied for two hours without distraction then went to my local maccas for a coffee and did some reading and writing for another 1.5-2 hours... It was sublime.

    Yeah exercise is complex hey, whenever I do get some consecutive days in the result on my mood is amazing. But then the anxiety creeps in, and just the thought of doing it creates more... An ironic cycle.

  9. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    275 posts
    6 May 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Hi Petal,

    I don’t mind walking sometimes. I’m sorta after exercise that gives me bang for my buck in terms of weight loss and cardiovascular health - aerobic exercise I guess..... A lot of things in life are problematic from a procrastination point of view but when I actually start them it’s better. Whereas with exercise sometimes it’s just as bad when I am doing it.... Its a constant battle with thoughts and sensations - just the feelings of itches and discomfort is something that bothers me. Perhaps a way of combining mindfulness and exercise together... mindful exercising?? Haha

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    275 posts
    6 May 2021 in reply to socialmoth

    Hi Socialmoth,

    Yes I hate being seen by others- especially running on the street, which I sort of could enjoy except for being seen. Ironically in the gym is okay. I was going after work for a bit and before work, trying different times, but it just seems hard starting at 630 and finishing anywhere from 3-5pm... even harder now that my wife had started working huge weeks too so I don’t feel like going there and doing that often - I have been just like having a coffee and some respite before the chaos of picking up the kids

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