By: Ben Mervis
As a person who is alive and woke in 2019, I find that there are far more natural triggers for anxiety than there are for endorphins. This might also explain why we’re also a generation that’s honing the skills and therapies for self-care – which is great because we all know things aren’t going to be easier for today’s children.
I don’t mind admitting this, but Elle Woods inspired me in many ways; if I work hard there’s almost nothing I can’t do (what, like it’s hard?), the bend and snap will always work if you’re trying to get a man’s attention, and exercise is a great way to naturally create mood-enhancing endorphins.
Admittedly, the title of this piece is misleading – this is not a step by step guide of exercises to practice when you’re feeling anxious. Rather some reminders that helped me find my own footing in the fitness world, which in turn has really been a great tool in my handling of stressful times.
It’s also worth noting that there are some really strong connections between exercise and CBD. Yes, a CBD topical (or ingestible) can help with pain relief and recovery – but CBD can also help make your workout more impactful. By reducing inflammation ahead of exercise, our bodies are better able to circulate blood carrying nutrients, energy, and endorphins.
**Medical disclaimer** by no means am I an expert here. These tips are based on my lived experience, and advice that I’ve gotten from fit friends like Aaron Marcotte over the years.
1. It’s all about the timing
We’re all usually trying to fit more into a day than we should – and I’ll speak for myself when I say that being overscheduled can cause some serious anxiety. So when I’m fitting in a workout, I make sure to know how long I can commit to it. I recommend that anyone who is not already on a regular workout routine, give this a moment of planning and save yourself some stress. Make sure to include time for warming up, exercise, cooling down/stretching, showering and refueling.
I give myself 2-hours from the minute I walk out my door, to when I finish my post-shower protein shake. This is usually 5:30 am – 7:30 am, but that’s just what works for me. There was a time where I’d fit the whole shebang into a 1-hour lunch break… but I found myself skipping my stretches, straining my muscles, and generally feeling more anxious than before I left the office.
2. Practice mindful breathing – your body can’t do anything if you’re not breathing.
This is something I often forgot when I first started lifting, but I really learned the importance of breathing through yoga and spinning classes. I found it incredibly helpful to have a coach/teacher reminding me to breathe, and actually connecting my movements to my breath and the beats. It’s become a form of active meditation for me.
From the get-go, I began working out with headphones in, and something full-blast. Whether I was listening to music, podcasts, or something else… it felt like a given that I should be plugged in during a workout.
It was only about a year ago that I realized the audio inputs can be distracting, and even anxiety-inducing in and of themselves. What’s coming on next? Why don’t I have better playlists? Am I dancing and lip syncing without even realizing it? Is the cute guy on the treadmill next to me interested in chatting?
I’ve worked on understanding when I’m already overstimulated, and I make those days no-headphone days.
4. Stretching and recovery
The number one way to reduce anxiety through exercise, in my experience – is a good stretch at the beginning and end of my workout. I find so much peace in reconnecting with my breath, and taking a moment to appreciate my body for the work it’s just done. This is another opportunity to work some CBD into your routine; I recommend a CBD tincture like Bare or one of Kush Queen’s CBD nano topical such as Soaked. In these cases, the CBD should help to fight post-workout inflammation, and keep your blood flowing and feeding your body’s recovery.
So the next time you feel a wave of anxiety coming, or anticipate an anxious day/week/month – make sure to set aside some time for exercise – but don’t let it add to your stressors. Even a walk around the block should be enough to get your blood and endorphins flowing, you’ve just gotta give it a chance.
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Want to add CBD into your Anxiety Reducing Workout Routines? Shop Kush Queen below!