Exercise ~ Gentle movements, Part 2
We’ve been talking about that impossible dream for fibromyalgia sufferers: exercise
Gentle movement is what we are looking for here. Forget the old adage “No Pain, No Gain”. We do not want to add pain, we want to just get the muscles moving again. Did you see the previous post? Did you miss it? Click here.
GET OUT OF BED
When Chronic Pain first attacked, I couldn’t move at all without extreme pain. But once we started managing the pain, I had to get my muscles moving again. I started with doing those stretches in bed until they no longer were an issue of pain, then I started trying to move around the house and beyond.
One thing I insisted on doing each day, was to make my bed. My husband was more than willing to do it, but it was one small way that I could put in a few steps and get my arms moving again. True, there were days that I couldn’t do it or it took a fair amount of time. And it seldom looked beautiful when I was finished.
My doctor prescribed therapy to help get those muscles moving. The therapist would help move my arms, my legs, my hips for a good stretch. Before long, I was working a recumbent bike and pulling on a few weights. (A recumbent bike is one that keeps you lower to the ground. It will have a safer, wider seat and handles to help your balance.) These were all very safe movements with the therapist right there beside me. Depending on how much your insurance will pay, this can be a wonderful way to get things working again.
When I was able enough to get in and out of a pool, water therapy became my favorite friend. Water lifts the weight of gravity from your body, making it so much easier to bend those knees. It was very surprising how much I could do in the water.
If you have access to ANY pool. Get in and just walk around in the shallow end. It is wonderful!
JOIN A GYM
This seems like a serious step, but gyms have programs for all levels of ability. Sign up with a trainer and have your doctor “prescribe” the type of exercises you can do. I loved going to exercise classes because it added social interaction to my routine.
I took water walking classes at the YMCA. This was just walking in the water at your own pace. Then we did some guided exercises. You will be amazed at how much more you are able to do in the water. Check with your health insurance plan. They may cover some of your membership. If you are on Medicare, you can join Silver Sneakers.
Another great activity you may enjoy is sunbathing. Yes, believe it or not, sunbathing. The sun is your best source of vitamin D. Most folks these days are deficient in Vitamin D which is vital for a healthy immune system. So, 15 minutes in the sun every day will be very beneficial.
And surprise of all surprises, DON’T USE SUNBLOCK OR SUNGLASSES. I was surprised to read this myself, but blocking the sun rays is actually detrimental to your body’s defense against sunburn. Here’s the explanation from Science Buzz.
The pituitary gland is tied to your optic nerve and is sensitive to sunlight. When light enters your eyes, it triggers your pituitary gland to produce a melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) that activates your melanocytes to produce melanin. This means that wearing sunglasses can actually cause sunburn.
This is not to say, go out in the sun for hours on end. If you do, YOU MAY GET BURNED. Take care in selecting your sun block for long hours in the sun. Some sun lotions contain toxic – or at least questionable – ingredients. Look for an organic type with titanium dioxide, which is a physical, rather than a chemical blocker.
SO HERE’S YOUR ASSIGNMENT
Plan a few minutes of movement in your day. Set some time to sit in the sun every day for fresh air and sunshine. Expose as much skin as weather and modesty will allow. Go ahead, put it down on your daily schedule right now.
What exercises are you doing to get your muscles moving?