There are many things you can miss out on if you have chronic pain, but exercise doesn’t have to be one of them. As long as you’ve been cleared for it by your doctor, there are plenty of ways you can still exercise, and by listening to your body you can find your limit. Here are some tips for those suffering with chronic pain to allow them to get back to exercise again.
Consider exercise in water
Water-based exercise can be an excellent option for those who have conditions such as arthritis. This is because the water supports a lot of your weight, meaning it can be low impact and safe. It’s worth booking an appointment with Aquatic Performance Training who specialise in aqua-based activities, as they can go through a health assessment and ensure you don’t put too much pressure on yourself. There are lots of activities you can do in the water from cycling to aerobics.
Exercise may be good for chronic pain
It sounds counterintuitive, because when you’re in pain, you often don’t want to move too much. But exercise can be good for those with certain chronic pain conditions. Some of the benefits include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving your mental health
- Helping with mobility
- Helping you become more flexible over time
While it can be hard to motivate yourself if you have chronic pain, it’s worth trying to get to the gym or swimming pool when you have good days, as there can be a number of benefits.
Natural pain relief can help when you exercise
It’s generally not recommended to take pain relief before you exercise, as you can end up pushing yourself too hard and causing an injury. However, there are a number of types of natural pain relief such as herbal alternatives that would be suitable to take before working out. For example, things like turmeric and ginger, both of which can help with aching joints and inflammation. If you’re unsure, ask your doctor for more information.
Many doctors offer exercise referrals
Because doctors know that exercise can help with chronic pain, there are a number of ways you can get an exercise program through your doctor. Many governments now offer free fitness programs, many of which are aimed at beginners or those struggling with exercise, and some doctors offer referrals to specialist gyms so you can get help getting started.
If you don’t want to do an official program, try something low impact and easy like walking. Set a target, such as 10k steps a day, and use an app to track your steps. You can then try to go further and further if your body allows it but stop if things are too painful.
If you suffer from chronic pain, you don’t have to let this stop you from enjoying exercise and activities you love. While it may be more difficult for you to enjoy certain activities, and more of a challenge to get motivated, your doctor may well recommend that you get moving more often as it offers a wide variety of advantages.