Cycling with anxiety

Jul 24, 2020
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Hi all,

I've been cycling couple times a week for few years now. Before that I was into running.
Being an anxious person, i've been sometimes strugling to complete rides, especially when cycling uphill.
Having elevated heart rate during rides, associates me with a panick attack, and suddenly my breathing becomes shallow, my legs are getting weak... a typical panic attack symptoms. My mind says that when I raise my heart rate, something bad is going to happen ex me dying.
I admire the people that go past me on the ride, most of them riding at their maximum, while I strugle with the attacks.
My question I guess is, is there a danger of getting a heart attack while riding? Is it safe to push harder at some points?
I know it sounds crazy, knowing that the heart is a muscle, and the more you exercise, the stronger it gets.
Cycling seems to be one of the best cardiovascular exercises, but still I strugle to accept the fact that while cycling I do good for my health, and not put myself in danger.
 
If you do not have any physical conditions that make you 'at risk' for a heart attack, then elevated heart rate AEROBIC exercise should be fine. Do not force yourself to continue exercise if you become 'dazed' or you are not fully aware of the conditions around you, or you have difficulty controlling your motion.

Jay
 
Reactions: HarlequinMKD
On training you shouldn't go extremely high with your heart rate. Regular training in a pace you can handle is more important. You could ask a doctor how high your heart rate can go without being unhealthy. It's different for each individual, depending on age, genetics, previous training, lifestyle etc. Cycling is very healthy as long as you don't go over your limit.
 
What is this thread? Five bots with anxiety talking about straining their heart rate in training and two non-bots saying that indeed there might be a little problem with that.

There's no problem with going all-out in training.

Especially if you're a bot.
 
Jan 23, 2023
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I just want to say cycling with anxiety can be a challenge, but with the right approach, it can be a great way to manage anxiety symptoms. Here are a few tips for cycling with anxiety:
  1. Start with small goals: Set small, achievable goals for yourself to begin with. This will help you build confidence in your abilities and reduce anxiety.
  2. Take it slow: Start with shorter rides and gradually increase the distance over time.
  3. Find a quiet place to ride: Look for a quiet, low-traffic route to ride on. This will help you feel more relaxed and reduce anxiety.
  4. Listen to music or an audiobook: Listening to music or an audiobook while cycling can help distract you from anxiety-provoking thoughts.
  5. Practice deep breathing: Take deep, slow breaths while cycling to help calm your mind and reduce anxiety.
  6. Reward yourself: Treat yourself after a successful ride to reinforce the positive behavior.
  7. Consult a therapist: Seek the help of a therapist who can guide you with coping strategies for your anxiety, and create a personalized treatment plan.
Remember, it's important to listen to your body and take it at your own pace. With time, cycling can be a great way to manage anxiety and improve mental health. myPennMedicine
 
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as a cyclist with anxiety, I found the only things that help me is to ride often - if i have a long gap between rides (ie more than a week) I get terrible anxiety and won't want to ride and a negative feedback loop begins.

ride often, stick with a route, don't be afraid of embarrassing yourself - rather than deal with a slightly busy junction I'll hop onto the pavement & use the traffic lights to cross. Also concentrate on improving your situational awareness.

ten laps riding around a residential area isn't fun but it will do more for your mental wellbeing than riding around the countryside in a stressful/anxious state. Build your confidence up, then tackle the more difficult areas.
 
Dec 1, 2022
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as a cyclist with anxiety, I found the only things that help me is to ride often - if i have a long gap between rides (ie more than a week) I get terrible anxiety and won't want to ride and a negative feedback loop begins.

ride often, stick with a route, don't be afraid of embarrassing yourself - rather than deal with a slightly busy junction I'll hop onto the pavement & use the traffic lights to cross. Also concentrate on improving your situational awareness.

ten laps riding around a residential area isn't fun but it will do more for your mental wellbeing than riding around the countryside in a stressful/anxious state. Build your confidence up, then tackle the more difficult areas.
Same case!
 
Reactions: Izzyeviel

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