Need Help Getting Motivated To Exercise
Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:57 PM
After over a year of trying to find answers about why I feel so horrible, today my doctor finally acknowledged (everything else had to be ruled out) that I have fibromyalgia and started me on Lyrica. I actually feel better now that I have a diagnosis as I prefer to know what is going on and while it's not something that can be "cured", I can, no I WILL (see, I've said that, now you must hold me accountable) make changes in my life to improve it.
That being said, one of the most important things for fibro sufferers to do is to exercise! I have never been a big fan of it and particularly since I can barely make it out of bed most mornings without feeling like I'm 3 times my age (which is 29), this is a huge hurdle for me to overcome.
We all have stresses, aches and pains, fatigue that make it difficult for us to get the exercise we need sometimes. So for those of you who do have to force yourselves to get moving everyday, what do you do? How do you push yourselves to start exercising when its the last thing in the world you want to do and quite frankly, think you can do? I have a Wii Fit (which my husband is upset has hardly been used) and an even less used pilates machine that I purchased right before everything started going down hill. I really want to get good usage out of these soon.
Thanks for any advice you may have!
Posted 19 March 2009 - 07:34 PM
Try this exercise - take a few minutes to write down your health goals. Anything from wanting to lose 25 pounds, to wanting to give up drinking soda, to wanting to run a marathon. Whatever your wildest, and not so wild, dreams might be. Separate them into short term and long term goals, in order of priority. Then take the first short term goal and make a list of what you need to do to get there. For instance, the list for giving up diet soda may look like 1. This week, only drink 1 diet soda a day and drink more water or a tea like green tea. 2. Next week, no diet sodas, more water and green tea. This type of goal could also be combined with something like 2. Workout for 15 minutes every day with one day of rest each week. The workouts could be walking around the neighborhood, using your Wii Fit or whatever. And it doesn't have to be the same thing every day. In fact, it should be the same thing every day, to prevent boredom and to keep your metabolism going.
Hand in hand with exercise is nutrition. I don't know how much of a role good nutrition plays in fibro symptoms, but eating healthy is always a good thing, right? Now is the time to start making good choices at mealtimes. Now is the time to start getting rid of the junk. The first thing I tell the people I'm helping is that they need to eat lean protein and complex carbs. You can't go wrong with those foods. The next thing I tell them is that they need to be eating 5-6 meals a day - your 3 main meals, and then small snacks in between, so you end up eating every two to three hours. This does a great job of preventing you from getting hungry, and if you're eating the right kinds of food, you're giving your body the kind of fuel it needs and knows what to do with, and you're also keeping your metabolism revved up throughout the day, because it needs to run high to burn the fuel, and this means you're burning more calories.
But the bottom line, you have to decide it's time to make the changes. You have to be determined to stick with it, and you have to stop saying I can't, and start saying I can. Speak positively to yourself, do your best, and forget the rest.
HTH a bit. Feel free to ask me whatever questions you have about any of this. I'm afraid I get on a bit of a soapbox about this kind of thing, but I have totally changed my life around doing just these kinds of things, and I want to help others feel as great as I do!
Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:14 PM
I've just started an exercise program as well and Jan is being my coach and cheering section. If you want to be a workout buddy, just PM me and we can work together. I don't have the same physical problem you do , but its taking me a lot to get my head around this. Its easier and more fun with a friend
A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. ~Author Unknown
Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:38 PM
So, find something that you enjoy. Do something fun! It might be organized sports (tennis, volleyball, soccer), or it might be some kind of group exercise (hip hop dance class, a walking club, biking club, water aerobics), or a martial art (tai chi, kung fu) or something a wee bit more gentle, like pilates or yoga. I can personally vouche for Aikido. I started taking it in November (I am 36, don't ever let anyone tell you it's too late!) and I LOVE it. I feel great, I look so much better and have lost, to date, 15 pounds. Most martial arts can be adapted to an individual's level and a good dojo will work with you at your pace and make you feel comfortable. That might not be your thing, but I really enjoy it. You may also just like to go for a walk around your neighborhood, or for a hike in the woods. You can even "disguise" the exercise by taking up birdwatching, or make every outing a photo session and take pictures!
For me, if left to my own devices, I will NOT work out on my own at home. We have weights in the basement, gobs of exercise tapes, a stationary bike. All collect dust. I won't do it at home. But I know if I don't show up to class, someone will notice. And I enjoy the camaraderie of the dojo, which is a huge part of the experience. So, even if you aren't comfortable with a huge group of people in, say, an aerobics class, you really should get an exercise partner -- a friend, or even your husband and make a deal that you'll go for a walk/bike ride/take a class, etc. on these days and then you'll be accountable to each other.
It is so easy to make excuses, especially when we don't feel good, are tired, or in pain. But remind yourself that you aren't doing yourself any favors by being idle. And once you start, you will feel better. And every day it will get easier and your symptoms will lessen and your body will reward you by feeling better.
Good luck and I hope you find something you enjoy!
Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:57 PM
The first thing I would suggest is to follow Jan's advice on diet. I can really feel the difference when I don't eat right. As far as exercise goes, be very gentle with yourself. Start with something very small and build on it. If you feel better one day than another, do a little more. One friend of mine goes out for walks and makes sure she has her cell phone in case she doesn't think she can make it back home. I've had to learn how to listen to my body and pace myself accordingly, and most of my days are pretty good.
Please don't try to push yourself because you have these expensive machines at home. I think it's possible to get to a place where you'll be able to use them, but work up to them slowly. Make sure you get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. After you've learned how to cope with FM, you'll find that you can do quite a bit.
Oh yes, one more thing I've found to be extremely helpful is massage. I try to get one at least once a month, but if I'm having a problem, I'll get one more often.
Please PM me if you need any help, advice, or a shoulder to cry on.
Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:52 AM
One of the things that I've found helpful is just to commit to do something everyday. Somedays might be a full-blown workout of whatever works for you, somedays it might just be tossing in a few sit-ups - 10 situps are better than nothing, right. Try to look for little ways to add activity in - park a little farther away in the parking lot, take the stairs, that kind of thing.