We could all do with a bit of help to inspire us to improve our fitness, especially when in chronic pain. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is to make myself a lovely cuppa and bring it back to bed while I take my first pain medication for the day. I then have a hot shower (even in summer) as I find it helps to relax my body.
I would struggle to even think about any form of fitness regime at this time but by the time I am showered and dressed and the pain killers have kicked in I try my hardest to motivate myself to go for a short walk with my husband to pick up the morning paper.
My husband does this religiously every single day no matter what the weather and swears that it makes him feel better. I would never go out in the rain as it just seems to aggravate my back and personally enjoy it the most on a lovely sunny day but I can always find an excuse not to go.
I know this is good for me but I have to be in the right mindset so I have looked at ways to inspire me and to also help me feel less guilty when it is a day that I can just not manage it.
- Try and aim for a minor tweak, rather than a major one. So for me if I am just not up for that particular walk in the morning I now say I will take one later in the day that may be a little shorter but at least I have made the effort to go on one.
- You should always keep a track of any social events you have on any particular day. If I know I am going over to see my daughter and grandchildren then I usually miss the walk as I know I will be exhuasted enough and probably do far more steps by just being with them all. And sometimes we go for a short walk with the girls in the buggy.
- Always make sure your exercise is approriate for you and your target. If you try something that is physically too much then it will put you off giving it another try. At the moment I am visiting lots of leisure centres and Hotels with leisure facilites as I have been told to try and swim a little. ‘Little’, being the operative word so I feel I would be better joining a Hotel Leisure facility as they are always a lot smaller swimming pools than the normal swimming pool and more often than not have better steps for getting in and out of the pool.
- Track your training as this will make you feel so much better. Buy a watch with steps on it or put the app on your phone and keep your phone in your pocket. Either way when you feel the buzz on your wrist or from your phone which you get when you have achieved a certain amount steps you will feel a surge of adrenalin to keep doing a few more.
- Plan your activities for the week instead of thinking you cannot manage it that particular day as your friend has just asked you over for a coffee. You can go another day for a coffe but that day you had in your diary for some fitness regimes should stay where you put it.
Always remember to make a note of how you are feeling after your fitness regime whether it’s walking swimming or simply doing a few exercises from home.
Make a note of any changes to your pain. How your energy feels after you have completed your fitness regime.
A checklist should include how well-rested you are and what activities you have done as well as your physical and mental wellbeing. Give yourself a pat on the back if you managed that extra few leg lifts or that extra 5 minutes long walk. You are amazing at trying anything when you are in pain and the benefits will definitely make you feel stronger.