Getting fit with high heart rate and anxiety disorder?

Hello there! I'm a 33 year old woman who I suppose overall lives a sendentary lifestyle. I'm six stone overwwight at 221lbs. I have anxiety disorder and currently my Fitbit tells me I have a high heart rate and shitty cardiavascular health. I'm terrified to excercise as a slow walk can push my bpm up no probs. Today as I went to check the time on my fitbit during a fast walk to the office I spied 170 on the bpm reading!!! I don't want to live in fear and would love to enjoy excercising again. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to get from poor to good heart health when you're this bad? I am heading to the doctor tomorrow to have a chat as I was put back on prozac a week ago and he wants to rule it out as the high heart rate culprit. Also as you've made it this far here's your reward; Why should you never fart in an Apple store? Because it's got no windows in it :)))) Thanks for reading XD

15 Replies

  • It could be the meds.

    Have you had your thyroid checked, as that can also mess with your heart rate, mine does.

    You really need to get a lid on that before the overload on exercise. Maybe light swimming in the meantime.

    I wouldn't do anything to exert yourself too much until the doc sorts it out.

    Hope you get to the bottom of it soon, so you can get back into exercise. Keep us updated wont you, take care, :)

  • Hello there, thanks kindly for your reply! Just had a chat with the doctor today. He has put me on a low dose of beta blockers just for now and tomorrow I am getting bloods checked for my thyroid. He said the exact same thing you did about not going mad with the excercise until they figure out whats up. Thank you for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it :)

  • Hey no worries.

    And as Chris has said, I find walking helps me a lot, don't always feel like it. But once I am on my way, I really start to enjoy it.

    I find different walks to help keepbit interesting.

    Let us know how the blood tests go, J ☺

  • Thanks for the morning chuckle - currently posting via my MacBook!

    As a general guide, your maximum heart rate during exercise is 220 minus your age, so that's about 187bpm for you. Usually the fitter and slimmer you are, the lower your resting heart rate and the lower your heart rate at exercise as your heart is more efficient at pumping blood around your body and doesn't need to work as quickly.

    I know it may not seem much at first, but walking is a great form of exercise and you'd be surprised how many calories it can shift! Start off slowly and as time goes on increase your speed and distance. Your FitBit is a great aid to this - it can help you track your steps/distances so you can see some progress.

    It would also be worth having a chat with your GP about healthy eating and whether you'd be interested in seeing a registered dietitian to help with weight loss. We also have a booklet you might like to download or order for free here:

    I hope this helps.

    Take care,


  • Thanks kindly Chris!! Went to my GP today and he was very kind and understanding. He has put me on a low dose of beta blockers for now while they figure out what's up. I'll be having some blood tests too. In the meantime thank you for the book download, I'll definately be using that! Thanks a million for your answer. Looking forward to feeling better soon :)

  • Hi Chris, I'm the complete opposite, I'm 5ft and weigh only 44.2. I'm small boned and my normal weight has been 47kg practically all my adult life. The problem is I can't put any weight on. I'm waiting for a AVR, so I think the anxiety doesn't help. My bowels open as soon as I get up and it's quite loose. I consider my diet to be fairly healthy. Do the BHF do a leaflet to help me gain weight please? I'm drinking more water to keep hydrated, that probably doesn't help. I try to walk for 30 minutes a day to keep my strength up, but I take it very easy most of the time. Thanks

  • Hello - sorry to hear that. We don't have any information on how to gain weight as it's quite a specialised area and very unique to each person. The best thing to do would be to ask your GP for a referral to a dietitian who specialises in this area.

    I hope this helps,


  • I think by seeing your GP for a chat is a good first start. I don't know your financial situation but a lot of leisure centres have a personal trainer who can start things off for you as part of buying a season ticket. I think it is worth thinking about. Good luck.

  • Hi, I would suggest to eat smaller portioned meals and healthy snacks, later been lots of fruits & nuts (small handful of almonds or walnuts unsalted three times a day). Eat high omega fats like salmon, sardines or mackerel these can be in a can with for example a baked or sweet potato, included in these meals are salad/veges (no cream dressing, just some olive oil), meals with brown rice or if pasta, wholemeal pasta for medium amount of pesto or tomato sauce, small amount of parmesan cheese, some low fat yogurts, breakfast porridge with blueberries/other berries, use only coconut, soya or almond milk. No lattes, just coffee and small amount of milk same with tea. Why all this? Because it has made me drop a lot of weight, a healthy way of doing so. If you craving eat some more fruit/corn or rice crackers or healthy seeded crackers without cheese! add some tomatoes for example on them. No biscuits (as they contain butter)...........It isn't that tough, your body will get use to this...oh yes if chicken, breast only grilled (limit red meat once every 2 weeks)

    Included go for walks, start of with HR at 130-140 hbpm, doesn't matter how slow or fast you are walking. Maintain this for 2 weeks uping the mileage, then gradually increase to 150-160hbpm again up the mileage, after this continue the above but do a fast walk during each walk for about 5min HR will be high then increase to 10min next week. The later will build your endurance and your HR will come down. You'll see a pattern of your HR becoming more efficient.

    I hope this helps and is not too detailed. Give it a try. You should always start off slow when exercising then gradually build as your heart will start becoming more efficient and will be able to pump more blood. If your HR is too high and your feel exhausted, just stop sit down, relax and rest.

  • That's very detailed and wil be of great use to me! Thank you very much :)

  • Thank you! This has been very stressful but it's great to hear there are natural alternatives that can help!

  • I would highly recommend Tai Chi or Qigong (also known as Chi Gung). It is very gentle and can help regulate your heart rate and blood pressure, and can help with anxiety too. Just make sure the class you join isn't a martial class. A search on the web should help you find a suitable class.

  • Thank you Lesley that sounds like a really good idea!!!! :)

  • fyi - I use Shamanism to meditate. I found this to be simply beautiful!

  • Cool thank you I'll look into it :)

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