The right sort of exercise can be fun and enjoyable.
- Exercise means moving and using your body, it doesn’t necessarily mean going for marathon runs or to aerobic classes!
- Exercising helps you to feel better about yourself, it gives you a feeling of control.
- Exercising increases your overall strength, mobility and flexibility.
- Exercising helps to reduce pain because it encourages the production of endorphins, your body’s own natural painkillers.
The choice of exercise is vast. Suitable for those of us in pain, it can include floor and chair exercises, walking, Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, dancing, hydrotherapy and swimming.
- It is important to keep as active as you realistically can. Your body is designed to move!
- If you are in pain, it’s better to exercise gently for a minute or two than not at all.
- Be sensible, your first priority is to take care of yourself and your body and to do what is necessary to control and reduce the pain.
Hydrotherapy exercise is especially beneficial and is also good fun. The warm water and weightlessness experienced in the hydrotherapy pool are pure relief for people in pain. Ask your doctor where you can go for hydrotherapy.
Tips for Exercising
- Introduce any new exercise slowly. Include just one or two new movements in the session. Build up your stamina and ability over time, this will help to prevent a pain flare-up.
- When you exercise, take your time, don’t rush. Exercise is best done in a calm way, with total awareness of how the movements affect your body. This will help you to avoid a pain flare-up.
- If you feel any sharp pain, stop that particular movement immediately, and next time approach the exercise more gently.
- Increase your enjoyment. Try exercising, or just moving, to slow, relaxing music.
- It’s good to end your exercise session with a short relaxation session.
- Always seek advice from a professional who knows your body, such as your doctor or therapist, about what sort of exercise is suitable for your particular needs.