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Overcoming anxiety & exercise

As you know I have been regularly exercising for about 14 years.


Over those years I have tried many forms of exercise; but the one that has always made me feel the most amazing is running.


Yet sadly, running is the exercise that I have struggled to love the most.


Just the thought of running provokes stress within me, even though I know I'll feel amazing after.


In the past I would tell myself that I'm going to run 2-3 times per week.

On the first run, or maybe two, I would go flat out and feel amazing after.

Then my brain would realise that was I was doing was actually hard, and convince me that I have other obligations that are more important than running so I'd stop.


I'm older now. I'm smarter and I've learned that going hard and being perfect means that I'm not going to see the change I want.


My plan to consistently run this time is;

  • I've committed a time once a week to progress into running- straight after I've dropped the girls at school, I'll get out my car and start.

  • I will walk the route for the next 2-3 weeks, to allow my brain to adapt to the new habit I'm adding rather than just jumping in head first. I'll also focus on enjoying the feelings of being outside and moving my body.

  • When I'm feeling more relaxed about running I'll run the route slowly, allowing myself to enjoy the sensations of how my body is feeling. I also plan to time how long it takes me to complete the distance.

  • Over the following weeks I will continually aim to better my time by simply 1 second each week.


I'm also mentally preparing/ normalising things like weather, sick kids, periods and sickness so when these things come up I don't feel derailed.


This is the advice that I offer to you, if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed with exercise.


Have a plan.

Start slow and low.

Mentally prepare yourself to take it easy, but to get it done.

Slowly start to make your challenges harder, even by just 1 rep or one second.


You can absolutely start with walking.

You can definitely pick a lighter weight.

You can easily drop your reps to something you can achieve.


The only way to get better, and to where you want to be, is by working at what you want at a pace that is achievable for you, when you want to make long term changes.


It's not going hard out the gate then giving up because it's too much.


I'm still feeling pretty nervous about running, but I feel a lot better knowing that it's my pace and my life.


I don't have to be the best tomorrow.

Just better than I was yesterday.


Shea xx

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