How Zombies Are Helping Me to Manage Anxiety and Stress
I’m well aware that the title of this post makes me sound as if I have completely lost my mind. How on earth could zombie’s be helping me to manage my anxiety and stress?
Well, let me start by saying it has absolutely nothing to do with watching back-to-back episodes of ‘The Walking Dead,’ and drooling over the cross-bow wielding Daryl Dixon.
Although that is another favourite pastime of mine, I’ll admit!
Now try not to roll your eyes, and resist the urge to click away when I tell you that I’ve actually been using exercise to manage my anxiety and stress levels!
Stay with me people, its not just another boring fitness post I promise. And I’m not going to bang on about me, me, me – oh look at me! I want to share something cool with you, because I just LOVE it! And I think some of you might too.)
It’s been just a little over a year now since I discovered that after a stressful day a workout was a great way to burn off all that extra tension in my body. I seriously had no idea how unfit I was until I joined a local bootcamp and tried to do a push-up for the first time in about 20 years! As it turned out, although I was admittedly sore the next day after exercising, it was still prefereable to trying to quell the anxiety after a bad day with a bottle of wine, and waking up with a banging headache, three super loud kids, zero motivation and a widening waist circumference.
After a few weeks of training twice a week, I was literally hooked. (My husband had given me about 2 weeks before he thought my new ‘fad’ would peter off.) I was feeling stronger both physically and mentally, I loved the social interaction of getting out and having a laugh with like-minded women for 2 whole hours a week (even if conversations were interspersed with burpees and other forms of torture our personal trainer concocted).
I’m still hooked. I’ve got a whole new set of coping tools for those tough days.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still partial to a vino or four on the weekend, but now when I feel that awful tightening in my chest, or the anxiety creeps up on me out of the blue, I know that getting outside and going for a 30 minute brisk walk could mean the difference between clearing my head and having a good day or feeling frazzled, on-edge and overwhelmed.
And that’s where the zombies have come in.
It all started with me getting out more during the day and getting some Vitamin D and having a walk. But unlike when I was at bootcamp (where my gorgeous PT Nik would be cracking the whip) I found that it was hard to switch my mind off during that time. I’d still be going over in my head the bills that needed to be paid, the jobs that needed doing and before I knew it I had cut my walk short so I could get home and get them done. What I needed to do was prioritise ‘me-time,’ but also find some kind of distraction to make the niggles and worries STFU while I did it.
That is when I found the running app Zombies, Run.
(Yeah after all that waffling on I’ve finally managed to get to the point of my post! If you don’t run, and have absolutely no intention to run don’t let the name put you off. You can zombie walk too!)
Zombies, Run Fitness App
If you are anything like me and love zombies but hate running, or just need a little extra motivation to get moving, you’ll love this fitness app.
So basically this is how it works. You pick a mission, plug in your earphones and the story starts. You are the hero of the story ‘(Runner Five’ ) in a post-apocolyptic world. It is your job to complete missions, and collect supplies in an effort to rebuild the town of Abel. There is the option to have music playing in between the audio story too (which is great if you find a good upbeat tempo helps move you along!)
But the best bit? The Zombies!
At random intervals during the story you’ll be told that zombies are approaching, and it’s your job to move quicker to get away from them. If you’re walking, you might break into a light jog until you are safe, if you’re running you’ll have to push that little bit harder! Clever way to get some interval training in, eh?
There is an option to turn off the zombie chase though if you’d rather amble along at a steady pace, or if you are training inside on a treadmill.
What i love about this app is instead of going through that internal monologue with yourself where you try to think up an excuse not to have to get up and get moving, you’ll be dying to walk or run just so you can get the next instalment of the story and find out what’s happened!
For those who enjoy games, you can also use the supplies etc that you collect on your missions to start to rebuild the base. I haven’t really invested any time or interest in this side of the app but I can certainly see how it could add an extra motivation to get out and complete new levels in order to build the township.
In fact, there are lots of other amazing looking features and options on the app including interval training, learning to run 5K, 10K, etc or going on race missions, so whatever your fitness level there is something for you.
This is NOT a sponsored post, and it does Not contain affiliate links. I just really f&%king love it!
It has helped to keep me interested in exercise and has helped me to manage my stress and anxiety in a healthy way, with the only side-effects being weight-loss! Woohoo!
If you give it a go, please come back and tell me what you think!
Visit Zombiesrungame.com or check out the Zombies, Run Facebook page.