This post is on my views of exercising while living with Fibromyalgia/ME/CFS
Exercise releases the feel good hormone endorphin, endorphins interact with the receptors in our brain that reduce your perception of pain, endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body thus lowering depression and helping you to feel good about yourself.
Depression is one of the many wonderful symptoms of fibro so exercising seems to be of a great way to help alleviate it, but 1st of all we need to get the motivation when we are feeling down to get our asses off the sofa and into a pair of trainers, maybe you could leave some comments on how you motivate yourself when you are feeling low to help fellow readers.
Why Is Exercise Important for Fibromyalgia? (taken from the WebMD site).
Experts believe that exercise is essential for keeping muscles strong and flexible, controlling weight , and helping you stay active in other areas of life. In fact, exercise and activity allow patients to have some control over fibromyalgia and the amount of pain they feel.
It used to be that doctors thought that exercise might worsen fibromyalgia symptoms or accelerate the disease. So doctors encouraged patients to seek rest, not activity. But recent scientific studies have shown that, for most patients, range of motion, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning exercises are safe and necessary.
What exercise does for me:
If you suffer with a chronic illness such as fibro, you maybe one of those who needs to plan when to exercise, if I am having an exercise day or even simply a trip to the shops or cinema, or even a bath! you know that you have to make sure that you have no plans for the following day especially if you also suffer from Post exertional malaise (PEM).
For me PEM is where my depression rises, the feeling of not being able to do anything, feeling useless, feeling as though I have an amazing bout of flu, the need to sleep, fatigue is horrendous and no amount of sleep or rest will alleviate it, it may last a day a week or even several months, it could bring on an amazing fibro flare.
I hear you asking why does she exercise if it does this to her?, I need to exercise to help me feel good, help in my weight loss progress help me to feel stronger, I don’t suffer from PEM every single time but I do most of the time, it’s a risk I take it is my decision and when I feel that I have a good day I will take advantage of it because I don’t know when I will have a good day again, so I cease the opportunity whether it be a bath, go shopping, for a walk etc.
What is PEM? Post Exertional Malaise is a key symptom of ME/CFS that causes a spike in symptoms and a massive energy crash after what, to other people, would be minor exertion, it can be brought on by a simple 2 minutes of yoga!! that is so shocking isn’t it?.
Living with a PEM flare can be heartbreaking, your thinking why have I done this to myself why did I go to the shop? why why why?, when your having a meltdown you don’t think anything good about yourself you punish yourself in your mind thinking why the hell did I do it, but when you come out of it, its like well hey what are we doing today haha, it is such a conflicting life to be living.
Only you can make the decision on whether to exercise or not and for me, whenever I’m feeling slightly good I will do something thats makes me feel good, hopefully this has shown that when you say to someone who isn’t feeling to good go for a walk it will make you feel better, please remember that those of us living with an invisible illness, going for that walk may not make us feel better. xoxoxo
On that note, I’m having a fairly good day so I am going to help and prep sunday dinner, have a good all xoxoxo#