We all know how important exercise is for our health and overall sense of well-being. But we also know how exhausted we become when we try to exercise. It’s a catch-22 situation. We need to exercise to thrive, but because our bodies do not produce enough energy, we will suffer the next day, or several days, because of it.
What happens is that those of us with CFIDS and Fibromyalgia become even more so deconditioned from the lack of exercise. If you are currently receiving treatment for your problems though, your post-exercise exhaustion and fatigue should change to that “good tired” feeling.
Once your health starts improving, it is important to slowly add exercise. Make sure you start with something that is gentle (walking or swimming). You will know if you pushed yourself too hard if you are exhausted the next day. Just make sure you learn how to pace yourself and to take it easier. Slowly but surely, you will find your stamina increasing. Give yourself time to build your health up slowly. Most of us have become very deconditioned due to years of lack of exercise.
Walking is the best way to start. Walking will help to condition your heart and muscles and it is easy on your joints and ligaments. If you can get outside to walk, that is the best. The fresh air will be great for your lungs. But if it is a windy, chilly day, you will want to walk indoors. The cold and wind will cause Fibromyalgia symptoms to flare.
If you have just begun treatment, you will want to wait 6 – 8 weeks into your program before starting to exercise. If you are already exercising, stick to your current level. If you are beginning to exercise, start with taking a 5-minute walk daily. Then begin to increase your walking time by 3 minutes every three to seven days – as able. You should feel that “good tired” as discussed earlier and you should feel better the next day. Once you get to an hour a day, you can increase the intensity of your exercise. If you feel a “bad tired” and totally wiped out the next day – you know you overdid it. Don’t work out for a few days if this happens, decrease your workout by 15 – 20 percent, and move up gradually.