Getting Back in the Game
I have titled today's fitness focus as "getting back in the game" for personal reasons. In short, I suffer from fibromyalgia which is a chronic pain condition.
I fought my butt off thru Jan. fitness challenge and kicked butt (partially my own as it was hard and painful). By the end of the month I had struggled and was determined February would be better since the exercises were changing. February was a major bomb as I continued to push myself too far and proceeded to put myself in a position where I could no longer do anything. At that pt. I had to admit failure to our fearless leader (love you averill! u r so good 2 me) and let my partner down (so sorry lovetoteach) and face some realities that were very depressing.
After much chiropractic work, meds and rest, my body is feeling quite a bit better. After soul searching, reality facing and coming to terms, I realize I have to come clean here and admit to myself and everyone else that I suck at this Fitness thing. I cannot pretend I don't have a condition. Meaning, I cannot ignore it and do nothing in the exercise department, but I have to also face the fact that I am probably never going to be able to keep up with the majority of you ladies in this fine group!
I am going to be spending some time researching the best way for me to get fit and stay fit. I posted an article below for anyone interested. I would like this post to be a prompt for any of you with any condition that may be holding you back from your desires to be in the best shape possible for you to step forward and share your story, your frustrations, your secrets. It will be therapeutic in many ways to get it all out there (whether it be something physical such as fibro to something emotional such as an eating disorder). We can be each other's support and understanding. We can research, post, give each other virtual shoulders and high fives where needed.
In admitting my condition to all of you I have taken a burden off myself. I have felt ashamed that I can't keep up so I don't post as much as I could for fear of looking like a slacker. Now I have been honest with everyone including myself and I can work on what I can work on. Maybe I can get some of my fibro group friends to head on over and I can do some research and post in a special fibro health section! Maybe one of you has a situation you would like help with or would like to help others with.
Anyone up for sharing? C'mon, I can't be the only one with dirt on my back :) Fess up, get back in the game and get active in your life! I'm waiting!!!!
p.s. sorry if this post seems all over the map or doesn't make a lot of sense. My fibro fog is lifting but I am still having some physical and mental hiccups from overexertion and lack of sleep :)
A little fibro education...
Definition (from mayoclinic.com)
You hurt all over, and you frequently feel exhausted. Even after numerous tests, your doctor can't find anything specifically wrong with you. If this sounds familiar, you may have fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain.
Fibromyalgia occurs in about 2 percent of the population in the United States. Women are much more likely to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age. Fibromyalgia symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event.
Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary, depending on the weather, stress, physical activity or even the time of day.
Widespread pain and tender points
The pain associated with fibromyalgia is described as a constant dull ache, typically arising from muscles. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by additional pain when firm pressure is applied to specific areas of your body, called tender points. Tender point locations include:
- Back of the head
- Between shoulder blades
- Top of shoulders
- Front sides of neck
- Upper chest
- Outer elbows
- Upper hips
- Sides of hips
- Inner knees
Fatigue and sleep disturbances
People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they seem to get plenty of sleep. Experts believe that these people rarely reach the deep restorative stage of sleep. Sleep disorders that have been linked to fibromyalgia include restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
Many people who have fibromyalgia also may have:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Restless legs syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Doctors don't know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together. These may include:
- Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.
- Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
- Physical or emotional trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked to fibromyalgia.
Why does it hurt?
Current thinking centers around a theory called central sensitization. This theory states that people with fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain because of increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals.
Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain's pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals.
Hopeful article I found on fibro & exercise
Fibromyalgia and Exercise
What is fibromyalgia?
If I have fibromyalgia, what can I do to help myself feel better?
As you progress with exercise, it will become more comfortable for you. For exercise to help, you must do it regularly. The goal is to get started and keep going, to gain relief from pain and to improve sleep. Below are some exercises you might want to try:
Walking: Start slowly by walking 5 minutes the first day. The next day, add a minute to this total. Keep adding 1 or 2 minutes a day until you are walking 60 minutes a day. When you reach this point, walk for at least 1 hour, 3 or 4 times a week. If you find yourself struggling as you're working your way up to walking for 60 minutes, go back to a length of time that was comfortable for you, and continue walking for this period of time for several days. Then continue to increase the minutes again until you reach the goal of 60 minutes. Try as many times as you need to reach the goal of walking for 60 minutes.
Walking/jogging: After you feel comfortable walking 3 or 4 times a week, you can alternate walking with slow jogging. Walk 2 blocks, then jog 1 block, walk 2 blocks, jog 1 block, and so on. Do this as often as it feels comfortable. Extend your exercise for longer periods if you feel comfortable.
Bicycling: Stationary bicycles (exercise bikes) offer the benefit of exercising indoors. Keep track of your mileage, or set a goal of bicycling for 60 minutes.
Swimming: Swimming is a great source of exercise that is very gentle on your joints. Try treading water for 1 to 2 minutes at a time, or swimming several laps. Try to work up to swimming laps for 30 total minutes.
The type of exercise you choose is up to you. It's important that you start exercising and keep doing it. Exercise relieves much of the pain fibromyalgia causes. Some people even find that exercise makes all their pain go away. You will also feel better if you have some control over your own care and well-being.