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Want to break the cycle of anxiety? Hop on your bike.

Posted Jul 21 2009 10:32pm 1 Comment

Just came across an recent article from a small-town paper about a local resident who's using cycling as a tool to fight anxiety disorders. And I quote:
STRATHMORE resident Justin Sacr can't drive a car for fear he has knocked down someone every time he hits a bump.

The 33-year-old has lived with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder since age 14 and, because of the phobia, his bicycle has become a 'lifeline'.

"I cycle to work every day. It has been a blessing in disguise because exercise helps me a lot," he said.

"It releases chemicals in your brain, like antidepressants, but in a natural way. It helps with your thoughts. You might look normal on the outside, but on the inside you're going through hell."

From experience: This guy's spot on. Cycling can have a hugely positive impact on your quality of life if you deal with anxiety. It's an especially good way to battle the shrinking-of-your-world of agoraphobia. The lightheaded feeling and elevated heart rate? That's what's supposed to happen when you exercise. Just push yourself to go a bit farther out of your comfort zone each time out. You'll feel better about yourself, more able. Guaranteed.
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Too true! I've not hopped on a bike yet, but walking definitely kicks the anxiety for me, the biggest hurdle is getting myself out the door, but I always feel better and like I've accomplised something. 
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