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Overcoming Fears Through Fitness



We’ve all been there before, in that one moment. This moment that originates in the deep dark ocean that can be our mind, one that causes an unsettling feeling almost instantly.  A feeling that doesn’t creep up slowly but instead rushes in with a sort of unstoppable all-encompassing force. Encircling, wrapping its tentacles around you and taking over your thoughts, willpower, and more. What is this moment? What is this feeling? It is fear. It is the unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. That’s all it is, a belief.


Everyone has different types of fear, of course, fear of heights, fear of spiders, fear of public speaking, but people have other types of fears as well. These fears could be daily fears that manifest themselves in anxieties, expressions of irritability, a feeling of powerlessness. Ultimately this feeling, this moment, is also a trigger response, one that activates the fight-or-flight response. 


Our system is designed to deal with these acute stressors for only a short period of time and does so by responding with physical work hence the name fight-or-flight. The stress that we deal with today is constantly triggering this response, just in a different way and in turn most of us aren’t responding in a physical way as we have been naturally designed to do so. 


 According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), these modern stressors accumulate and deny the body that needed time to repair, recover and replenish. This leads to elevated cortisol (that’s your main stress hormone) levels which in turn cause elevated fats to be in circulation. This could start a negative cascade of physiological responses within you that elevate the level of stress hormones, adding to the cycle and making you more prone to these “fears”.



How to deal with this? Exercise. Exercise has been scientifically proven to improve physiological health. Proven benefits of physical activity include lower blood pressure, decreased risk of heart disease, lower risk of type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of certain cancers, increased muscle strength and function, improved bone health and strength, healthy body weight, and even improved mental health.


A consistent exercise routine coupled with healthy nutrition not only helps prevent a heart attack, metabolic disease and cardiovascular disease but can also reduce or prevent levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as help regulate sleep patterns, improve mood, boost energy levels, and increase self-esteem.


If you are unsure about how or where to start don’t worry, don’t add to the fears, you have help all around you. There are so many gyms that enable you to get that effective workout via a variety of equipment, exercise modalities, and group fitness classes. Seeking a professional personal trainer is also a great way to start the journey. A skilled trainer who can provide safe and effective exercise guidance and instruction to consistently get the best results possible is an invaluable asset in starting or improving your fitness journey.


Exercise can be a wonderful and uplifting experience for most, for some it might be a bit intimidating at first but one way to quiet those fears is to do exactly what you’ve been designed to do. Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid of second guessing your movements, your gym attire, the weight that you move, what you do, how you do it. Move. Act. Respond in a physical way.  Running, cycling, swimming, boxing, weightlifting, dancing and boxing are all great exercises that benefit not just your physical health but also your mental health, it helps lessen those fears, and if you move without fear you move with power, strength, and confidence. 


For more information, visit www.crunch.com/locations/south-beach.

Address: 1259 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139


By Camilo Gonzalez, Personal Trainer at Crunch South Beach. Images courtesy of Crunch Fitness

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