This is actually a fairly common problem. The sensations that we feel during exercise, are often very similar to a panic attack...and can lead us to make an association between the two.
This naturally leads to fear, and avoidance of all things that would make us feel symptomatic.
I also had this concern. Since I am an althlete by trade however, I did not have a choice but to get over this issue.
Here is what I found helpful. I started off any activity slowly. As I progressed, if I found myself feeling panicky, with my increased heart rate, or other physical effects of the exercise (or was it anxiety? hard to tell!) I would slow down...but NOT stop.
The key here is to push through the worries, backing off enough to not throw yourself into more symptoms and possible panic...but to allow your brain to make this connection:
have the physical feelings that go along with anxiety, and still have a successful exercise session.
If your heart rate is already elevated due to the anxiety, it is really no different than what you are experiencing during physical activity.
That is not to say that anxiety sufferers never have to do cardio! But you get the idea.:) Continued exercise (starting out a lower level remember) will help to regulate your HR, and you will likely find that you can gradually increase as your confidence goes up.
Start slow, back off if you need to...but push through. This should help. Give it a try and see how you do.:)
"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"
"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom
Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT
Post Edited (Scaredy Cat) : 1/16/2014 8:42:20 AM (GMT-7)