I’ve read many times that exercise is very beneficial for those dealing with anxiety and panic disorders. My level of exercise fluctuates – from slothful couch potato to managing to complete a marathon (in 7 hours – which is INCREDIBLY slow) about 7 years ago. I’m definitely more in the slothful phase and have been for a couple years. Case in point, when I went to apply tags to this post, exercise wasn’t even an option. I work 2 jobs and go to school, so if I’m not doing one of the above I want to stare blankly at the wall (or tv to be more accurate). But, I can tell it’s not good for me. I’ve put on some weight, my aerobic conditioning is fairly crappy… but also, I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety and panic in the past year or so. I wonder if I got back into the habit of being physically active, if it would help.
As a part of my BestSelf goals journal adventure, I set 3 goals. A mental health goal, a physical health goal and a career goal. I’ll write more another time about the mental health goal, but the physical goal is to be able to run a 5k without walking. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. It’s been awhile & I’m definitely not a “runner”. I’ve always sucked at it. For the marathon, I walked at least half of it, probably more. But, having a goal to work toward really helps my commitment. Yesterday we restarted the couch to 5K plan (I’ve used the app Get Running multiple times to “start over” with running – it’s easy to use and does a great job at building up your stamina without it being miserable). Day one complete and it felt good, even though it’s hot as hell outside. Fall is coming, thank goodness.
I kept seeing an ad for the OutRun the Dark campaign on FB (thanks for the targeted marketing – creepy). They sell a variety of t-shirts and hoodies with phrases like “run more, worry less” and “Outrun the dark”, and they donate 10% of the profits to anxiety and depression research. So, this morning I finally ordered myself an OutRun the Dark hoodie.
On a side note, some of my favorite times running by far have been at night. I love the dark and how there is a different feel to the world at night. If I knew areas that felt safe to run after dark, I would do it more often. *Note: this does not extend to running in the dark early in the morning… that doesn’t count. I hate mornings.
Anyway, this is just yet another way I’m trying to work on improving myself. I didn’t think when I was in my 40s I’d be feeling like I had so much to work on – but here I am. At least I’m doing what I can to face it all head on.