Fitness class helps deal with anxiety through movement

Posted at 7:32 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 07:32:26-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A new fitness class is in town, not only helping to get you in shape but teaching you how to control your anxiety.

It’s called LIFTanxiety and was started by two women in Grand Rapids who describe it as group therapy with movement, focusing on reducing your anxiety through movement and reflection.

“A lot of people use their exercise routine as a way to help maybe manage anxiety, or they notice that it helps. So it's sort of like this byproduct with our program, it's actually the focus,” says Bethany Deblaay, Founder of LIFTanxiety.

Bethany Deblaay is also a Psychotherapist who uses body-oriented work in her counseling practice and recently got involved with Olympic weightlifting and teamed up with Crossfit coach Michelle Loverin at 8th Day Gym to create LIFTanxiety.

“We're giving participants a real-time challenge, that might make them a little anxious, but then we're able to use what we've just learned and what technique we've just learned about, to be able to put into place when we're feeling maybe a little bit anxious about something,” says Michelle Loverin, Founder and Coach of LIFTanxiety.

Deblaay walks the class through different techniques teaching them how to face anxiety when it comes.

“We're teaching our participants not how to make something go away. But how do you actually be in relationship with your anxiety, so that it doesn't make you feel stuck,” says Deblaay.

And you don’t need any experience to take the classes, LIFTanxiety is about being willing to do something challenging.

All classes are limited to 10 people, the teen classes are for ages 12-18 and there are adult classes as well.

For more information on summer, dates visit their Facebook page LIFTanxeityGR or email