How exercise helps us deal with anxiety, a new podcast interview, and an equipment-free full body workout

Hey there,

When I was younger, I experienced a lot of panic attacks. I had no real physical outlet at the time, so when these would happen, I’d often go from 0 to 100 with nowhere to put my anxious energy.

Only in recent years have I begun to understand that my physical outbursts were a natural stress response caused by an inability to regulate my nervous system.

When we reach high levels of stress, our bodies literally begin to prepare to fight, run, or freeze. Rather than try and hold in your emotions, you can do what the response intends you do: exercise.

An intense HIIT workout, a boxing session, a hard run, or even a brisk walk can all help you burn off the nervous energy brought on by the stress response. As a result, you’ll feel calmer and more able to deal with stressful situations in a less reactive way.

Of course, using exercise as a reactive measure isn’t always the best strategy. To reduce overall anxiety, make sure to also take care of yourself by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, nutritious foods, and engaging in mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing techniques.

Something cool —

I was recently on Light Watkin’s podcast, At the End of the Tunnel. We talked about everything from mental health, developing authenticity, advice for young teens dealing with anxiety, how fitness changed the trajectory of my life, and much more.

If you don’t know Light, he’s an author, meditation teacher, speaker, and all-around awesome and inspiring human being. Check him out on Instagram.

What I’m listening to —

How to Build a Happy Life podcast / The Atlantic

The author of one of my favorite columns in The Atlantic recently launched a podcast and I’ve been geeking out listening to every episode. Each is only about 40 minutes long and covers a topic related to personal growth (past episodes have focused on loneliness, becoming self-aware, and finding meaning in work). They also include a full transcript of each podcast on their website as well as a positive psychology-inspired exercise to try.

What I’m training —

Here’s an equipment-free full body workout I posted on Instagram. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Three new workouts —

Equipment-Free Leg Blaster HIIT Workout (12 minute, equipment-free)

16 Minute Sweaty Jump Rope Workout (16 minute, jump rope)

270 Rep Kettlebell Challenge Workout (Time challenge, kettlebell)

You can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete.

Questions? Feedback? Content requests?

Please feel free to reply directly to this email if you have any questions or comments (yes, I am a real human). I get a lot of emails and messages, so I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read everything you guys send me!

Happy training,

– Krista

PS. There’s still time to sign up for the Mental Fitness Bootcamp taking place November 12-14. I’ll be speaking along with 25+ other awesome speakers. Get your ticket here (it’s free!).

Sign up for Krista's Movement + Mindset Mastery newsletter to get your FREE eBook, 5 Keys to Building Mental and Physical Fitness. You'll also receive weekly physical and mental fitness-related content to help get you fired up for the week ahead.

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