Yes walking can be a great exercise, especially for those with fibromyalgia or other joint pain. I actually got into walking a couple years ago for my anxiety but like most things I tried as soon as I started feeling better I would stop. Each year when anxiety would rear up I would get my butt walking, as I felt better I would find something ‘more important’ to do.
Exercise is highly recommended for those with fibromyalgia as long as you don’t over do it, know your new limits (something I have a hard time with). Exercise can increase your stamina and muscle strength to better equip you to handle the pain. Exercise also causes your body to release endorphins which are your natural pain killers. Walking is a great form of exercise as it is low impact on the joints and best thing is that you can do it anywhere. Just get out of the house and walk! Start slow like 10 mins a day (less if you need to) and work your self up with time. With me as I start I often will feel the pain more but after 5-10 mins it fades away as the blood gets pumping. Sometime this is a problem as I will feel pretty good and just keep going and going. It’s when I stop that I then feel the pain again and if I over did it… I can feel it for days.
This time round I have gone for a walk of at least a mile everyday for at least the past 2 months. Some days yes I just dont feel like going but I push myself out the door. Most of the time I look forward to my walk time. I started out just walking around the block, then extending my walk further over time. Trying to listen to my body some days I just do the short walk of about a mile if I’m particularly sore, others I will perhaps walk the long path down to the lakes and back. Depending on how many of the lakes I decide to go around it can be 2.5-5 miles. I enjoy being outside with the cool evening breeze, it really helps to relax. Recently I joined a gym and have been going there more just to walk the treadmill instead of outdoors.
Outdoors is nice and I will continue to to walk outdoors but it does have some disadvantages over a treadmill.
- if you walk neighborhoods you have the pleasant car fumes to breath in
- more than 30 min walk an you can start to notice a bit of a sunburn so have to lather up
- hard to keep a steady pace
A lot of people think the treadmill is boring but I have a different opinion. I believe the treadmill has many advantages over walking outdoor.
- able to monitor and keep a steady pace
- consistent environment, temperature and no sunburn (wish they would turn up the AC a bit more though)
- taylor your work out, add inclines if desired or adjust your pace
- you can read or watch tv while you walk, helps pass the time and catch up on Doctor Who
- and for me there is a hot tub at the gym for post walks 🙂
No mater where you decide to walk I encourage everyone to just get out and do it. Especially those with fibromyalgia, even if its just 10 mins down the street and back. Get your blood flowing and it will make you feel better (even if its just temporarily). The key thing with fibro is to understand your limits are different than before. You may feel great and think you can go ‘the extra mile’ but watch it you may pay for it later with a flare up. More on that in a post very soon, yes I dont know when to stop sometimes.
Do you walk to relieve your pain? Any other exercises?