Anxiety Attacks Caused By Too Much Exercise????

I am currently doing couch to 5k but only once a week. On the days I dont run I do interval aerobics and swim once a week. I have recently increased the amount of exercise I do and only have one day off a week Over the last couple of weeks I seem to have what I would describe as nervous energy and have had a couple of anxiety attacks at night. Someone mentioned I could be producing too much adrenaline which is could be causing this. I thought exercise was good for the mind and health!!! Does anyone have any ideas in this??


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  • unless you are doing hours of exercise each day you are unlikely to be over producing adrenalin so it sounds as if there are other reasons for your anxiety attacks. Exercise is good for the hear and lungs, although recent studies show that the effect on depression is less than previously thought. Talk to your GP about aniety or panic attacks and tell him/her about your exercise regime. i'm sure you will be told it's OK.

  • When do you relax? only one day off a week does not seem much, perhaps take a bit of me time for yourself is what you need instead of rushing to excercise.

  • Have your doc check you out, but it could be something as simple as your blood sugar levels dropping due to burning more calories. The other thing that can make you feel a bit shakey is dehydration, something as simple as a drink of dilute juice could sort either of these issues. Hope it settles soon for you.

  • Thanks for your replies I think you are all right, I need to cut down the amount of exercise and also Oldgirl this is a good point, I do tend not to drink that much so may well be dehydrated.

  • You are doing a lot of exercise and I suspect a fair amount of sweating - something as simple as low levels of magnesium in your blood can give you anxiety/panic attack symptoms. I used to get it quite badly, palpitations, the whole works. My GP told me to take a magnesium supplement and it pretty much resolved the problem within days every time it reared its head. Maybe worth getting a few more minerals into your system?

  • In addition to the other suggestions, might it be the other way round - that it is the feelings of anxiety are driving the exercise regime? Which is not in itself an unhealthy response to anxiety but perhaps it is worth thinking about the rhythm of what you do and why you are doing it - a more nuanced response perhaps rather than 'cutting back' per se. It's unusual to *plan* to do only one C25K run a week so might be worth thinking about why you made that choice and whether it is still the right one for you - have you set yourself some goal, consciously or otherwise that you are feeling anxious to fulfil? It is not unusual for people to doubt that C25K will do the job.

    Oh and the other thing is, when are you doing the exercise? It may be that if you are doing it later in the day that early would work better for you (in term of symptoms, I know it can be hard to fit in with the rest of your life)

  • Thanks for all your replies,

    Googleme you may be right about the anxiety driving the exercise maybe it was starting to become an addiction. The reason I was doing C25K once a week was to fit it into an existing exercise routine (was already doing 4 days at the time) then I added swimming as well making a total of 6 days, always early morning.

    I have been to see the doctor and he has advised a blood test to check for diabetes as I have other symptoms. He also advised to cut down the exercise but not stop altogether as it maybe exhaustion induced anxiety as I always exercise first thing in the morning (5.45am) before work. So I've slowed down, started drinking more and am awaiting the blood test. I have to say I am starting to feel better although I am shaky first thing in the morning and around lunch time.

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