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.
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.