For those who are able to tolerate exercise and would like to do more, I wanted to share the approach I've been trying for the past couple of months: treating it like rehabilitation.
The biggest problem many of us face is thinking of the standard healthy person's workout as something we should be doing. We have to put that out of our minds and take a simple, scaled-down approach. Even then, it's easy to over do it and cause a crash.
When I decided recently that it was time for me to get serious about exercise, I put a lot of thought into what my goals were and how I should approach the whole process. I decided the most important things for me, based on the stability of my symptoms and overall fitness level, was increasing muscle tone and improving stamina. I thought about how long it's been since I had decent stamina and realized that what I needed was a rehab-type approach.
What I mean by that is:
- Starting from ground zero,
- Being alert to worsening symptoms,
- And following my body's cues.
This wasn't new information for me, but I found that viewing it as rehab rather than as just a scaled-down version of what I used to do, it was easier for me to stick to the rules.
I found a quick routine consisting of 3 exercises that I was able to do and just pushed me a little bit. I started out doing one set a day. As it got easier I added a second set. My goal is to add a third before long.
I've been able to do this routine consistently without trigger a flare. (However, keep in mind that my symptoms are well controlled and very stable. You need to know your own fitness level and listen to your body every day to learn when you're able to exercise and when you aren't.) My stamina is increasing bit by bit, and my muscle tone has really improved.
- Learn more about Exercising With Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Have you found a good approach to exercise? Have you gotten the results you hoped for? Leave your comments below!