I don’t exercise like you and that’s okay.

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I was recently told that I don’t walk fast enough to make it effective exercise.
Now there are two ways I can take that. Well if its not going to be effective exercise…I might as well quit now.
Or I could take it as a comment by an uniformed person.

The muscles and tendons and ligaments in a Fibromyalgia patient are different from the patient who is in overall good health. We have to start super slow. We have to increase super slow. Sometimes just a minute longer than we did last time. That minute can seem like the worlds best form of torture to us.

I am not a patient person. I know it took me so long to adjust to the length our normal walk is because I pushed it. I continually pushed it and it took eight months before I could increase. and even then I did a half mile increase instead of stepping it up just a little bit at a time. There were many days that I didn’t walk at all.

The idea that I need to get my heart up and pumping is just utterly ridiculous for me. Every time I tried during physical therapy my heart forgot that it was suppose to increase steadily and when I stopped start to decrease. It took very little to push it over to irregular.

The dogs on our favorite walk

The dogs on our favorite walk

1.5 mph is kinda pushing it for my walks…Sometimes that’s how fast the dogs walk..my most comfortable is just a few notches down at 1.3 mph. Like I said though these were slow increases and there are still days that 0.9 mph seems like we are racing.

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We are the tortoise of the exercise group. Slow and steady wins us results.

When i started physical therapy years ago I could only stand five minutes and that was pushing it…..Then when we got to ten minutes we switched to warm water therapy and pushed it to twenty minutes….by the end of six weeks I had gotten to thirty minutes. This was at three times a week though. I didn’t continue because at the time I did not do enough self care. I was worried about how much time away from work this was and a zillion other things. Not only that I had days of intense pain which made work and parenting even harder.

We tend to know our bodies very well. Listen to what your body says. It is going to go slow. It is going to require patience. It is going to require you to be forgiving to yourself. All things that come with time.

It is hard to tune out what others say. It keep doing what you are comfortable with. To do what your body is comfortable with. Activity does help. Moving does help. If you feel its a good workout, its a good workout.  I will say the more consistent I am with walking. The less time it takes to recover.

What I can do with my illnesses is probably not what another person with the same illnesses can do. We are different and that is okay.

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6 responses »

  1. Love it!!!!!! We ARE different…not incapable….just different. One of the things I have a love/hate relationship with right now is how little my body is letting me get away with. Before fibro, I was a gym rat. I loved being there. I loved getting sweaty and pushing my muscles to where they could lift 100lbs. And now, well honestly the memory of those moments do create conflict with fibro me BUT fibro me who makes movement a priority also sees wonderful changes happening to her body including LESS pain–frequency and duration–and that’s freakin’ amazing!!!!! Not enough to be effective….pshaw…next to suicide one of the top killers of people with fibro is strokes….why do people get strokes….lack of movement is the leading cause next to smoking. I have fibromyalgia and I cannot rid myself of it but I can absolutely reduce my personal stroke risk just by moving every single day as much as my body will allow. Fibromyalgia won’t kill you but being inactive absolutely will!!!!!! SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!! I was actually thinking about you at the gym this morning as I started training for a fun run/walk 5k…my first ever 🙂

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