If you have Fibromyalgia exercise can be a great distraction and help in your pain management. The small print is to know your limits! Im not talking the limits you may have in the past, you now have new limits you must learn. If you push your self to hard you may not feel it right away but it may cause a flare up of your fibro.
This has been hard for me to learn. I’m a man I can do anything!!
Let My Lesson Begin
A little over 2 weeks ago I joined 24 hour fitness with the intention of getting more active and back into shape. I started on a Sunday evening thinking I would do some swimming, after all swimming is a good overall exercise and I used to be on the swim team (shhh I know it was in high school). So I jumped in (ok wait I eased in, the water was colder than they lead you to believe) and started swimming laps. I was out of breath after one! But after a short rest I kept going, it was actually painful. Joints and muscles moving in ways they haven’t for years (maybe decades) so Im hoping most of the pain was just from being out of shape. My second time swimming went a little easier but did less laps.
Later that week I decided I should do some light weights, you know to start building up muscle strength again. I read that if your muscles are stronger you can endure the pain better. Doctor said I should keep it to 5-10lbs and just focus on reps. Well I got to the gym and most of the machines dont go that low, and the ones that did I was like this is way to light. Besides Im a man right? I can do more! Well most of the exercises I did 20-25lbs and that kicked my ass! I was exhausted and I felt it for days! Not just, you know the typical soreness you would feel from a good work out but my entire body was in pain and I felt exhausted for days and I only did some upper body. So even through this I kept up my daily walks, only now at the gym on the treadmill so I was doing longer walks (2 miles plus).
Oh There’s More
To top it all off this past Saturday I decided it was time for me to tackle Cowels Mountiain. It’s been over a year since my last trip up and I used to do it a few times a week a couple years ago. For those not in the San Diego area Cowles is one of the most popular hiking trails in San Diego. It is about 2 miles up (4 miles round trip) with about 90% of it vertical. I made it to the top going nice and slow. Felt good afterwards but later that afternoon it all hit me. I was beyond exhausted and my upper body was in pain, ya upper body go figure. This lasted for days and yesterday even started coming down with flu like symptoms, first time in ages.
The heat and humidity lately hasn’t helped either, it also seems to flare things up. But the moral of the story is to recognize your limits and even take it down a notch or two, break up your activities and get plenty of rest in between. Even if you are feeling great and think you can take anything on be careful or it will bring all the pain and fatigue back. Fibromyalgia leaves no room for your ego, who cares what you look like lifting 5lb dumbbells, its your overall health that matters. Start slow and you may be able to build up over time.
What about you? Have you tried to overdo it think you could handle it? Leave me a comment and let me know about it.