Health anxiety has me scared to exercise!!

Posted , 16 users are following.

I'm hoping someone can help me. I'm not sure how exactly, maybe by giving me tips to get over this irrational fear.

My health anxiety has been rather bad lately, mainly focusing around the idea that my heart is failing, I'm going to have a heart attack, or I have a pulmonary embolism. Because of this, I begin panicking any time my pulse speeds up and I take my pulse/feel my heartbeat continuously throughout the day.

This has gradually gotten worse, and I'm now scared to do anything that will raise my pulse. I feel winded and breathless after climbing a flight of stairs, and have to rest for a while because my heart will be racing (part because of the movement itself, part because of panic). I now try my best to avoid all unnecessary exercise because of the fear I'll have a heart attack or such.

Anyways, I'm overweight and have been rather unhappy for a while. I've finally plucked up the courage to take out a gym membership and will be going for the first time tomorrow. Here's the problem - because of what I've mentioned above, I'm terrified of actually stepping onto any of the machines. I'm terrified in case I become extremely breathless, in case I have a heart attack, or even in case I make a fool of myself by working myself up and inducing a panic attack.

How can I get over this? I know I NEED to do this, but I can't get my head round actually doing it.

Oh, and to top it off I have asthma (although I've never actually had an asthma attack) and I'm scared in case I have one while working out. I'm stuck in a vicious cycle! I'm depressed because of my appearance so I want to work out, but I'm scared to work out in case something bad happens, so I become even more unfit and even more depressed.

Sorry for the long rant, I just really need some help right now. :'(

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  • Posted

    First things first.. Have you recieved a cardio exam? Full exam with a stress test. Id say that needs to be cleared. Then logically you know your heart is good. At that point start slow you are probably out of shape. Drnk a lot of water and walk and walk. You can walk outside or get a treadmill and walk inside. Its movement you want.  Walk 45 minutes a day at whatever speed you want. It will lower your blood oressure, circulate everything nicely and isnt taxing. Abiut a minth or two of just enjoying the walking at yiur own oace you can walk a but faster maybe invest in a stationary bike and ride the bike for a half an hiur day. You can do all this is a gym as well they have treadmills and bikes. Thats all you need to so until you are completely comfortable. Put in some nature sounds while you walk or bike its good fot the soul and calming. Or low key happy music. Indont know why people think they join a gym and need to become the incredible hulk, you dont you want movement. Slow and steady wins the race 🤗 I woukd also very stringly recommend ourchasing juicer. Best thing i ever biught and im not skme gym freak at all. I walk and bike but everyday i drink a healthy homemade juice of my choice. The nutrients absirb way faster this way. Tins of recioies for every ailment online. Good luck. No excuses.. It will absilutely helo you feel better.

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    • Posted

      i began walking amidst feeling like absolute crap. I was sick had issues going on and bp was a mess. I walked. I walked thru all of it and guess what. It made me feel so good somewhere around week three. So i speak from doing not from the air. How incredibly illogical your anxiety has become to tell you not to move. That would only play out well if you were a tree.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. When I first went to see my doctor about my heart (I told him something just didn't feel right), he referred me to a cardiology. They did blood test and had me wear a 24 hour halter monitor that showed ectopic beats but nothing out of the ordinary. After that they decided they didn't want to investigate further.

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    • Posted

      Ok go into motion now. Ignore what you "feel" as a danger. Walk, walk, and walk some more. Get a juicer so you can make very healthy drinks and move out of your own way. Dont feed into this so much. The pains there ok keep walking. The pains there again..walk. Walk your way theu all of it.mwalking never killed anyone. Stagnant, poor diet and full on worry all the time will cause you more illness. Right? Your not a tree you have to move.

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    • Posted

      I know exactly how you feel I'm 35 and weigh 250 pounds in terrified to work out I have panic attacks all the time I Check my pulse all the time also it's so scary but I'm working on cutting down my food and just walking watching what I eat someday I'm to scared to even go put of my house to walk so I do it in circles in the living room just try and work around your anxiety do things like change of diet or less food simple things that won't trigger anxiety start off very simple one thing at at time for as long as needed to see that's ok then add another it's longer but for me the only way

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  • Posted

    I know exactly how you feel mate!! 

    Im 24 and had bad chest pains, shortness of breath etc, so i thought something was wrong with my heart even though my ecg was normal. This made me scared to excercise, but whenever I did, i got chest pain and shortness of breath, like literally every time, if i ran a little or played football, i'd get chest pains.. I couldnt walk to the shop without chest pain. I diagnosed myself with angina, MVP.. everything.. 100% had something wrong with my heart.

    One day I played football, and I started running and got a really bad chest pain and struggled to get my breath back, so i thought enoughs enough, i want more tests. Went through all the tests, ecg, stress ecg, 72 hour ecg, echocardiogram, stress perfusion cardiac MRI... all normal.. doctor said your hearts fine.

    Once i learnt to accept that, the symptoms went away.. honestly it took 2 weeks or so for me to accept it but since then I havent had any chest pain while excercising.

    Your mind is VERY strong, if you convince yourself enough that somethings wrong then chances are you'll start getting the symptoms. Beleive me i know its hard to accept it but once you know its just anxiety you'll get better. 

    Good luck! 

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  • Posted

    Its good to hear someone else has these symptoms/fears and that it can be overcome. I've been recently getting chest pain on my left side, and it's been scaring me so bad. I had an ekg done months ago and they did it twice in my GP's office to confirm my heart was fine when I told them my health anxiety had been centered around the heart recently.

    I know the mind is so very strong, and I know I have to just let go, and breathe, and take back my life. Thanks for the encouragement that it can be done.

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  • Posted

    I'm the same way except my anxiety is feeling dizzy and light headed I want to work out so bad but I'm scared I might pass out, I went to the er 6times they say nothing's wrong but I'm convinced there is because I'm always dizzy and off balance , I do walk sometimes but I want to run but I'm scared so just try walking at first see how that goes

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  • Posted

    I've had the same fears, and still struggle.  I second the advice of having some cardiac tests done so you can go into the workouts with the knowledge you're good (if you haven't already).

    Think about this:  regular exercise, along with a good diet, is one of the best ways to ensure heart health and prevent cardiac issues.  So if you're worried about your heart, one of the best preventative measures you can take is to exercise.  

     

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  • Posted

    I have the exact same issue. I was overweight back in 2015, then lost a ton of weight through eating well and exercise running 5-6 miles a day. Then in late 2017 something happened. I had a fear that my heart was failing. Had several tests all indicate that my heart is fine but I can’t shake the feeling something is wrong. Since that time, I have been off and on to the gym. I’d go for a while until the sytmtoms happen again, go get more tests and the result that everything is ok, then back to the gym. That was until March 2018 when I had symptoms again, two ekgs and three doctor visits later still being told all is ok but now I am absolutely terrified to get my heart rate up. If I do work out I watch the heart rate monitor very closely. It’s very annoying to me. The doctors all think it’s anxiety and have put me on meds for anxiety but I still don’t fully accept it. So I know how you feel.
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    • Posted

      I feel this exact same way! I'm absolutely terrified to work out now sad I was at the Y the other day, did 2 miles on treadmill, felt ok... when I got off, I jumped on the elliptical... was on a couple mins, looked down & saw  my heartbeat was 184! I jumped off terrified! My Dr has tried to put me on Zoloft for a couple years, but I just keep thinking I can beat this... I've tried the natural, homeopathic stuff also... some does actually work.

       

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    • Posted

      I’m begging to think that the diagnosis of anxiety is correct but our body’s telling us of something else. I had panic and anxiety most of my life. Just recently after Irma in September 2017 there about it just got extremely worse.

      Just yesterday I gave working out a try again heart rate was slightly higher than normal when I started but I was truely worried. As I calmed down it went back to the normal range for the exercise I was performing so I started feeling amazing.  I thought maybe I got this. Then that night I woke up to get some water. Felt a thump in my chest and got real sweaty. Heart rate rose from 70-ish to 144 in a matter of minutes while I was just sitting. I got terrified called 911 and went to the ER and again got the diagnosis of a panic attack. They did more heart tests (which I’ve had several) and all that was normal. I got a visit with a psychiatrist on Monday maybe they can alter my meds to calm the panic. 

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    • Posted

      Oh goodness, I know all too well the ER trips... They know me on a first name basis! It’s an awful feeling 😢 

      I went to a therapist a couple years ago that deals in Anxiety/Panic disorders... She helped me & I feel like I was finally overcoming some of it, but for whatever reason it has come back full force. She once said to me, No one has ever died from a panic attack, it will pass. So... I try to tell myself this when I feel it coming on. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. 

      I just can’t stop thinking about health issues... Someone mentioned to me about A-fib... now I’m thoroughly convinced that’s what I have... it’s just a vicious cycle😢

      I hope your visit Monday went well... please share with me what meds you take & side effects?

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    • Posted

      In a way it’s good to know I’m not alone and other feeel the same symptoms and been given the same diagnosis.  It’s terrible and I would not wish this on anyone even my worst enemy. 

      Dr visit went well. He’s taking a light medication route with CBT and the normal exercise and diet stufff. He wants to change my meds to Prosac 10mg, Buspar 5mg both daily and Xanax as needed. I haven’t started yet since Walmart had an issue giving prosac when I’m already taking Celexa. The two do have severe interactions if taken together. I guess they didn’t figure out that I’m stopping Celexa. So a call to the doctor should clear that up hopefully. 

      Good chatting with you, I hope you are doing well. 

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    • Posted

      I had to check the name on this to see if wrote it because I did the exact same thing . I’m using a program I found online to try and beat my health anxiety , slow going . 

      It’s with an Irish therapist called “ learn my therapist ie “ 

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