While many people exercise to ease stress, others find that working out increases their anxiety. There can be many reasons for exercise-induced stress. Social pressure to conform to a certain body image; feeling overwhelmed by the many fitness options; setting unattainable goals; and body acceptance are just a few reasons people may feel anxiety around exercising. If you are experiencing exercise anxiety, it is important to address the issue to keep yourself in shape physically and mentally. 

How to Figure Out the Best Workout Routine for You 

Exercise anxiety is created by negative thoughts related to fear of failure, embarrassment, or fear of pain or injury. The first step in overcoming these negative thoughts is learning to be kind to yourself and do what seems right for you. You may prefer to work with a personal trainer or small group workouts or training programs. You may prefer a stair climber over an elliptical machine. Create a routine that feels enjoyable to you as there is no right answer.

How to Plan Ahead for Your Workout

You may have a lot of questions when you go to the gym like what workout to do, how long to work out, whether you need special equipment, and more. Come up with a plan on what you will do before you make that trip to the gym. You can write it down on your phone or get yourself a workout app where you can save your favorite workouts on your account. By planning ahead, you will be able to set realistic expectations.

How to Start Small When Working Out

Keep your workouts short at first. For example, you can start using the treadmill for 10 minutes during the first week and gradually add time as the weeks progress. If you try too hard to reach your goals, you can wear yourself out and lead to injury. You need not work out for hours if you are not ready for it. It may be more manageable to do short workouts at the beginning and lengthen them as you gain strength and endurance.

How to Incorporate Something You Love in Your Workouts

Incorporating something you love will make workouts more fun and the time go more quickly. Try listening to your favorite podcast, calling a friend to chat, or playing some upbeat music on your personal device. Doing so will also help your exercises be less anxiety-provoking. Finding ways to make your workout fun and planning ahead will relieve anxiety and help your journey toward improved mental and physical shape.


Exercise anxiety can have a negative impact on your sobriety. Alta Loma Transformational Living’s knowledgeable, compassionate professionals can help you manage that stress and you develop a fitness program to enhance your recovery. Our all-male program specializes in helping men with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders achieve the emotional and psychological stability that will allow them to focus on sustainable, long-term recovery. Located just north of Austin in Georgetown, Texas, Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. Our team of experts will work with you to create an ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary delays. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at (866) 457-3843.