Have you ever made this one for yourself? I have. How did it go for you? Me?..Well...I can honestly say I broke out a number of times...only to get caught by myself again...and again...and again.
But like most other resolutions that fail and fizzle soon into the new year...big giant leaps were taken instead of smaller steps. When trying to implement a new life change...smaller...slower steps are usually more successful as you build on them...even your exercise goals.
Like any major life-style change...a plan is needed. The more you can plan for the changes you want...the more likely you will be successful. I know what you're saying...if I exercise I'll hurt worse...and honestly? yes you just might in the beginning...because you are using your muscles in ways they aren't used to being used...or being used at all...but you can do this...slowly.
When living with pain and wanting to increase your exercise, it's always good to speak to your doctor. You need to make sure that you are healthy enough to exercise and also that what you are choosing to do, is safe within your abilities. Your doctor may also be able to make referrals to a physiotherapy exercise program or possibly hydro therapy...to help you.
Have a plan for how often you will exercise...for how long...and also where will you exercise. Be flexible with your plan too okay? You do have a life and you do have a chronic illness that may interrupt your abilities to exercise some days. If you're not able to exercise one day...don't beat yourself up for it...reschedule your exercise for another time in the day or for just another day...it's okay.
Now a lot people spend good money to work out at a gym but not everyone can afford that...nor is it always necessary. There are many home exercise programs that are very successful and you can also create your own, based on your needs and abilities. You can also use every day items like soup cans, stairs at home, walls, exercise balls and mats...to help you build your own exercise program. There are DVDs and the internet too for ideas...explore them okay?
Re-think your ideas of exercise. Now that you're living with chronic pain how you will exercise now is different than how you would have exercised in the past. Now please...don't get all negative about this fact okay? you can't change it...but you can learn to work within it.
Before the pain you may have been able to work out for a good hour straight...now? that's wishful thinking isn't it? but it's still okay! just break down the time periods into smaller more easily to manage exercise bits. Try working out for 5 minutes three times a day...as you get accustomed...increase to 10 minutes... then to 15...then to 20...and so on. You know your abilities better than anyone else...work within them but challenge them too okay?
Some other things to keep in mind are...have exercises that you can do indoors when the weather is bad outside...remember too to take breaks in your exercise as you need them...drink plenty of fluids. Remember for the days when you're hurting...that simple and easy stretching is a good exercise as well for sore muscles. Exercising isn't about the weights you can push or lift...or about how many sit ups you can do...it's about maintaining your muscle ability.
You can break out of the fitness protection program and you can get more active in your life. Take small steps but take them. Get as active as you can today within your abilities. Challenge them weekly as your abilities grow. If you find that you're not reaching your goals...don't give up...re-evaluate and change as needed. Invite a friend to work out with you or to join you on a walk...company sometimes makes exercising more enjoyable. You can take small steps every day to keep your body moving...try dancing... even if it's a slow and awkward movement...move to the music...feel it...enjoy it.
Whatever your choices are...I hope you choose you. Choose you and break yourself out for good this time...you can do it! and one last thing? don't forget to reward your efforts!!! even the little goals...when you reach one...celebrate it! you've worked hard and you deserve this.
I wish you only the best as you make this life change for you...