Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Getting Back on the Hamster Wheel

Ah, yes, regular exercise... it's not a cure, but it is supposed to help lessen at least some of the many symptoms of Fibromyalgia. I've read it. I've heard my doctor say it. I also know it's just good to move around a bit, generally speaking. It warms and loosens up the tight muscles and helps keep the blood flowing so all those chemical processes have a chance to work (as best as they can).

With my recent fibroflares, the flu, fatigue, fibrofog, and whatever other "F words" have been affecting me lately, it's been difficult to even imagine voluntarily moving around, especially without at least getting some household chore done at the same time. I just couldn't commit. Well, now my pants are getting tight.
This can't go on; it's time for action! The daily stretching routine and sporadic walks around the block or so are fine and dandy, but I need to make sure I get regular exercise every day. I know that if I don't use my muscles, I'll lose them to atrophy, which causes that vicious circle of FM symptoms and inactivity.

My doctor advised me to use the following guideline for adding activity to my day.

stretch time = exercise time

As I briefly mentioned in an earlier post, I've been doing a daily, gentle stretching routine each morning that takes me about 5 minutes to complete. It covers most major muscle areas, starting from the neck, all the way down to my ankles. I also add new stretches that I like now and then.

Yesterday my "just one thing" was making sure I started doing exercises again. My last flare has finally subsided enough to allow for some very minor activity. To start out, my exercise routine time matches my stretching time at 5 minutes.

Yeah, I know all you "normals" out there are probably scoffing at all this hullaballoo over 5 minutes of activity. I can just hear you going "What? Five minutes?? Pshhh....". That's okay. I used to not know about people like me until I became one. Well, so you know, I'm not normal anymore (was I ever?) and now, for me, doing exercise is a big deal. I know my fellow fibromites understand.

Besides, I'm embarking on a personal goal and announcing it to the world. What a commitment! Aren't you impressed? ☺ I am using you all as additional inspiration to continue, even when I'm tempted to quit. And so far, so good. I did 5 minutes of walking around the first floor of my house yesterday morning, and today I did about 6 minutes on my elliptical machine, with some stretching before and afterwards. So, I'm proud of myself.

Tomorrow morning, I will attempt 7 minutes of stretching and 7 minutes of activity.Keep me going, guys! Don't let me give up.