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Does exercise make your panic flare up?
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TOPIC: Does exercise make your panic flare up?

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#19438
losthighway (User)
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Does exercise make your panic flare up? 8 Years, 1 Month ago  
Since my agoraphobia has led to a more inactive lifestyle (to say the least) I have decided to start getting some exercise to get more in shape, but of course panic has to ruin it. We have this small gym in my house with a treadmill, punching bag, exercise bike, etc. and every time I start exercising on something, I start getting panicky. I think the increased heart rate from the physical exertion, which is normal I know, reminds me of the panic attack sensations and I freak out. I was only able to walk the treadmill for 5 minutes earlier before my pulse was too distracting for me and I began to feel dizzy. At least I HOPE it was anxiety because if I'm feeling dizzy after walking for 5 minutes at a slow pace then I am more out of shape than I thought. When I got inside, my hands were tingly, and that doesn't happen very often, thought with my anxiety it has been known to. So great, now I am going to be paranoid that I have something wrong with me (high blood pressure, bad heart, whatever) and attribute this to medical symptoms. This is most likely anxiety, yes? I want to know if exercise makes anyone else feel this way.
 
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#19440
ceejay (Admin)
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Re:Does exercise make your panic flare up? 8 Years, 1 Month ago  
This happened to me too.

Here is what I did:

1. Get a friend and go for a walk. Keep it really simple. If you can walk, with someone for moral support, you will find that each experience leads to confidence.

2. If you don't have a friend to go, then go public. Go to the mall or a nearby lake or park, and walk. Smile at people. I know - with agoraphobia it is hard! But you're addressing two things at once and the benefits are unbelievably wonderful!

3. Call the YMCA. They are terrific and affordable. You can even get a few free 'personal training' sessions if you sign up.

4. Get a DVD for beginners or pregnant women or kids. They're less stressful, and upbeat!!

Mainly - KEEP IT SIMPLE! START SLOW! BREATHE!!!

And, of course, get the doctor's okay before you begin any exercise program!

Good luck - and keep posting!
 
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#19444
Rusty (User)
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Re:Does exercise make your panic flare up? 8 Years ago  
Since you say you have agoraphobia (unable to leave the house), here is what I would recommend. I don't have full blown agoraphobia, but am close to it.

Exercise has increased my anxiety sometimes.

The main thing though is if you are not getting out and about, is to at least get on the treadmill and walk at a normal pace just to get the blood circulating. When I was living in suburbia I did it for my own good, just to keep my body healthy and got on the stationary bike for 10 minutes every day even if I went slow.

Also, getting sun is important too (get the appropriate amount of sun because its good for the immune system and good in other ways as well-- if you live in a sunny climate-- just make sure you don't get sunburn.)

Good luck with the exercise..
 
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#19462
mr_happy (User)
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Re:Does exercise make your panic flare up? 8 Years ago  
i went through the same issues when i decided to start exercising. i began using my treadmill as well. i would get ideas in my head and would worry that the exercise would make my heartrate go too high and i would pass out or something. well a friend of mine gave me a few pointers that really helped. i'll share those with you:

1. start slow. walking on the treadmill for a few minutes at first is a great start. five minutes of walking is better than five minutes of doing nothing.

2. keep your mind distracted while you exercise by listening to music or watching videos on a laptop or tv. just remember to have the laptop positioned in front of you so you don't have to turn your head to see the screen. i usually watch something funny to keep me in a good mood. stay away from the news channels or things that may put you in a gloomy mood. try making a cd of you're favorite upbeat songs.

3. think about things that interest you while you walk. i design and print t-shirts so i'm always thinking up new designs as i exercise. if you like writing, think of story ideas. if you like cooking, think of new recipes..etc. etc.

all these things helped me alot. just take things slowly. walking is a great exercise.

the best advice is to always check with your doctor before working out.

p.s. when i say "distract your mind while you exercise" i don't mean to actually take all your focus away from what you're doing. it's important to always be aware of what you are doing especially when using a machine like a treadmill. never close your eyes while using a treadmill. it's easy to lose your balance and fall. always have the proper sneakers and make sure the laces are tied and not too long.

good luck and keep us posted with your progress.
 
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#19776
DesInDespair (User)
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Re:Does exercise make your panic flare up? 8 Years ago  
I wish I had a treadmill. Since I'm agoraphobic and can't leave the house right now, a treadmill would be a great thing for me to have because I'm so out of shape. So right now what I try to do everyday is walk up and down the steps.
 
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#19777
ceejay (Admin)
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Re:Does exercise make your panic flare up? 8 Years ago  
I have found that it is the ANTICIPATION of exercise that causes my panic to flare up.

Actually exercising rarely does.

There are DVDs for exercise too - you can probably get them on Netflix if you don't want to buy one. Or from the Public Library if someone will go get it for you.

Or, it could be a double challenge - to take yourself to the library and check out an exercise DVD!
 
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