Fear, Anxiety and what to expect when you start a new fitness regime

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I thought I’d welcome you with a smiling picture of me this week. Look how tanned I was back then!

Anyway, moving on, we looked at anxiety and fear last week on one of my Facebook lives. Very common for a lot of people with chronic illnesses but as a nation we still don’t like to talk much about it. Because it means being crazy, right? **roll eyes emoji**

But guess what! I’ll admit it – I suffer from anxiety and regularly visit a therapist to discuss things like that. I know you don’t just want to hear about me but tough, here’s a list just some of my fears:

  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of getting MS (this is a big one for me)
  • Not being able to grow old with my family
  • Fear of Social media (seriously. Sometimes I can’t face opening Facebook)
  • Fear that I’ll have a nervous breakdown

Common kinds of anxiety which I often come across with clients:

  • Fear of going out
  • Fear of situations getting worse
  • Fear that people don’t like you
  • Fear of being a burden on your loved ones
  • Worrying that every little sensation that your body feels is a sign of another relapse
  • Fear of falling

First thing to remember…These are normally irrational fears. Maybe not the falling one. That happens and can be painful, but the others are unlikely to be true. Easy to say that but the big difference between anxiety and plain old fear, is that you don’t need to be afraid of the things causing anxiety. Proper fear is when you’re being chased by a dog, on top of a cliff edge, confronted by someone trying to steal your wallet or other things which genuinely threaten your wellbeing.

The good thing is that you can think, so you can look at your fears and try to determine if they’re things which are really worth worrying about. And if it turns out that they’re not, sometimes you just have to say “Fuck Fear!” and get on with it.

But sometimes things are out of our control and our amygdala goes into hypermode creating all sorts of problems for us. Here’ a few tips I stole from the NHS website for you if you’re feeling anxious about something:

Top tips:

  • Take time out
  • Breathe through panic
  • Face your fears
  • say to yourself “what’s the worst that could happen?”
  • Look at the evidence/facts
  • Don’t try to be perfect
  • Visualise a happy place
  • Talk about it
  • Go back to basics
  • Reward yourself

Welcome to D.O.M.S (delayed onset muscle soreness)

Lots of posts in my Facebook group recently about people who’ve just started the MS warrior Programme or Custom Fit Programme saying things like “OMG my legs don’t work anymore, have I ruined them?” The good news is no, but here’s what to expect when you start a new fitness regime.

First things first – Doms! Not mine. D.O.M.S – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It’s the painful, tight, inflamed feeling you have in your muscles a day or two after you try something new which challenges your muscles. It’s your body’s way of telling you to allow time for the muscles to recover. You may have heard people say that it’s lactic acid left in the muscles – not true. It’s just inflamed tissue, and the natural response of the body is to repair stronger than before. So it’s good but it’s worth remembering that those muscles should be rested while you work other muscle groups. This is one of the reasons why my fitness programmes are broken up into separate muscle groups which each get trained once a week. Is there a way to reduce the pain? Yes. Similar movements at a much lighter intensity will encourage blood flow to the area, thus increasing recovery speed. Massage can help with this too. Blood-flow aids recovery (hence swelling) and the more fresh blood you get to an area the more quickly it’ll recover.

So no, you haven’t ruined your legs and yes, they’ll stop feeling like this if you regularly challenge them. So if you were worried about starting any of my programmes, don’t be. You’re only going to be making your bones, joints and muscles more resilient for the future.

Click below if you want to talk to me about any of the programmes I run.

And I’ll bid you adieu with a picture of me before I got fat.

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