Mr. T and I decided to get gym memberships to follow through with our goal of being more healthy and exercising. And more specifically, I am expecting it to help me reduce my anxiety. This is the best option for us because the gym has a child center where Lil' P can play while we work out. It also has a rock climbing area which we love. A little while back I had my first day at the gym.
I got to start out with a personal trainer who assessed my fitness levels. Overall, it appeared on paper as though I was in pretty good shape. However, when I started an actual workout I ran into a problem. After any exercise set my heart rate would skyrocket into the 170's. I had to wait for a few minutes everytime for my heart rate to go back down before I could continue. The trainer explained that my heart is really out of shape and that I need to do more cardio to get it used to working out. He suggested 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week.
I am so out of shape that I couldn't move for the next two days. I was soooo sore! I have a lot of work to do.
Here are a few of my favorite tips (from The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook) for starting a new exercise program in order to reduce anxiety:
- Expect some initial discomfort. If you are out of shape, aches and pains are normal. As your strength and endurance grow, the pain will pass.
- Ideally exercise should be aerobic.
- Optimal frequency is 4-5 times a week with 20-30 minute sessions.
- Optimal intensity for aerobic exercise is a heart rate of (220-your age) X .75 for at least 10 minutes.
- Avoid exercising only once a week. Infrequent spurts of exercise is stressful to your body and generally does more harm than good. (walking is an exception).