I was going really well with my exercise at the beginning of the year. My running was going well, and when my ankle started playing up, I started a gym program instead. It was tiring, sometimes it was painful, but I could do it. Now I'm starting to I can't complete even one day of the program I had begun. My fatigue has got so intense and my pain and discomfort so severe that I struggle to get out of the house, so there's no chance of being at the gym for an hour. I know this must be familiar to some of you.
So when exercise is so important to general health, and to managing symptoms, but is this difficult, what do you do? One important thing to remember is that doing exercise can actually give you energy, provided you build up slowly. That being said, for some a large amount of exercise is going to be impossible. But it doesn't have to be a large amount to see some benefit. Do whatever you can manage.
Some of the best forms of exercise I have found for my pain and exercise are:
- Walking. Even a short walk is better than no walk.
- Swimming or aqua jogging. Being in the water can help support your body, and cause less pain. If you have access to hydrotherapy this could be a great option to explore.
- Yoga. It's important to remember that there are different types of yoga, some of which are much more gentle than others. Ask at your gym or a yoga provider about what classes might be appropriate for you.
- Cycling. It's been years since I've been on an actual bicycle (though I keep meaning to give it a go again), but even a cycle at the gym can be gentle, if you take it easy. Just go for as long as you can.
Also, if you are at the gym, please remember not to compare yourself to others. If they seem to be doing a lot more than you, there's a pretty high chance they aren't facing the same challenges.
Give a small amount of exercise a go, and see if it helps with your symptoms, or even just helps you relax.
What exercise could you start to try? Do you already do a lot of exercise?