I was supposed to post this yesterday so let’s pretend I did!
I know everyone hates mondays, but everyday feels like Monday when you have Fibromyalgia/fatigue/chronic pain so I treat them all the same.
Today I am going to share some tips this for those who suffer from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, fatigue and other ailments and like lower back pain, arthritis.
Sometimes when you have chronic pain conditions it can be hard to exercise everyday and eat right or even get out of bed.
I’ve come up with check points to check in on my condition and tips to work with it over the last few years.
1. Get to know yourself by keeping track of your ailment and pain/fatigue. Knowing when you might have higher pain/fatigue can help you chart exercise and relax days.
2. Avoid cardio and weights on high humidity or extremely cold days. YOGA is a better choice on these days.
2a. Stretch for 2-5 min multiple times a day, even at work. Just do it where ever you are. Stop and stretch.
3. Follow your work schedule and make Friday a rest day and Sat too if you need it (or whatever day begins your “weekend”).
4. Take two days off in a row when you need too. Fibromyalgia suffers have long reported needing 48 hours to recover from flare ups, pain and stressful events. Don’t push yourself to go back when you are not ready.
5. Keep it low impact all the time, until you are strong enough for more. The more you avoid bouncing the easier it is on pain points and joints.
6. Start with really low weights (I started with 2 and 3lb weights a few months ago and am now up to 3 and 5. I see plenty of muscle build and definition forming anyway.
7. Go slower. Keep your heart rate up but go slower if you need to. Stick to a pace that doesn’t aggrivated your pain buy gets your heart rate pumping. Don’t try to keep up with someone who’s a pro or those fitness nuts on your favorite exercise program. You will be able to, eventually, if you stick with it and get stronger.
8. Try a three/four day on, two day off schedule. Excercise for three or four days in a row, not five. Take two days of in between. You’re still getting 5 out of 7 days exercise and ample rest time in between.
9. Check in with your self everyday. If you are feeling more or less pain, more or less fatigue. Check in again before bed. You may be able to prevent a flare if you know the night before. I often feel more fatigued and irritable when a flare is coming and will plan a rest day.
10. Be flexible and don’t feel guilty. If you sense a flare coming skip your exercise that day. The movement will only increase the level of pain and cause a longer flare up. When you’re through the worst of it, pick it up again and start slow. You will be right back to where you were before the flare in no time.
I’m not a medical doctor, but I was diagnosed seven years ago and these are some things I have learned about exercising with fibromyalgia that help me stick with it and increase strength without causing *too many* flare ups.
Exercising with fibro is a two steps forward, one step back kind of process. Don’t get discouraged if you’re taking a step back. You are still moving forward by sticking with it.