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Fear Of Exercise

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by donavanf, May 9, 2016.

  1. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    I have TMS, which manifests mostly as upper back, shoulder and neck pain. ANY exercise of my upper body and I have muscle pain for DAYS after and my mind becomes fixated on the pain with OCD like attention. I vacuumed my apartment and did some cleaning the other day and had soreness for a week! Exercise has been a fear of mine since I was very young. My parents were very loving, but super overprotective and from a young age I have associated exercise with fear, my mother especially programmed me to think I was weak. I was bullied constantly in school and hated gym class. When my upper back and shoulder pain first started, I did the Physical Therapy route (before I found Sarno) and my PT told me "weak muscles spasm easier than strong ones", and I needed to "strengthen my core", "fix my posture", "learn to move better" etc. Not sure I believe any of that now, but still, I would like to begin to be more active. Other than my job (being a photographer) I am ENTIRELY sedentary. How do I begin an exercise program that won't hurt me? I tend to be an "all or nothing" kind of guy, extremely hard on myself and lack discipline and follow-through. I have been trying to just go for a 30 minute walk every day, but can't seem to stick to it. Any ideas or support about fear of exercise and chronic muscle soreness? I associate soreness with TMS (it gets worse when I worry or am hard on myself or get emotionally triggered) but I also know it is "normal" to be sore after exercise when one has been sedentary forever. But what if exercise IS A TRIGGER? I am 45 and tired all the time, depressed and fear hurting myself, but I know it's now or never.
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi DonovanF,

    I'm sorry to hear of your challenges, but I'm sure with with determination, you shall overcome your current obstacles.

    The fear monkey is a tough one to shake, especially when everything in our culture instill the fear that we could hurt ourselves by overdoing certain activity. Our human bodies are very strong and we cannot hurt ourselves by exercise. If anything, we are only strengthening our neural pathways.

    It also seems that you've inherited your mum's fears regarding exercises and these aren't your own. Now that you are consiously aware of these limiting beliefs you can work on replacing these with new healthy ones.

    I suffered from the same fear and anxiety when it came to exercise, but I've slowly worked through it. I've incorporated a short yoga practice into my daily routine which incorporates the physical and breathing exercises - a wonderful way to exercise and keep the mind clear of inner chatter. It's not so much about how long you perform the task, but the fact that you do it. Repetition is key and can have a lasting effect. As they say, if you don't use it, you lose it.

    I've posted this before but you may benefit from seeing it, a 96 year old practicing yoga, with no fear of hurting herself.

    Good luck on your journey and all the best in healing.

    Edited and updated.
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
    donavanf likes this.

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