K.I.S.S. –> Keep It Super Simple

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The hardest part of living with fibromyalgia is learning to slow down. I could say this a million times (and probably will throughout my postings), but it still wouldn’t be enough.

One of the big frustrations that I face is getting in exercise. I’ve read the science, and I understand the benefits of exercise forbeach-nap-1
someone with chronic pain. However, when you are extremely fatigued, and the floor looks like it would make an excellent bed, it is hard to get motivated to exercise. It is also hard to want to hit the gym when you’re muscles are already screaming in agony just because that is what they do when you have “the fibs”.

I’ve been searching over the last two years or so for how to overcome this hurdle. I’ve tried lots of things from yoga to swimming to hitting the elliptical to personal training.

Yoga has been one of my favorite exercises because it builds strength and flexibility while keeping you moving (especially flow yoga). However, even gentle yoga can be a bit much to handle on days when I am fatigued.

I am still on the fence about swimming. The great thing about it is that it is so low impact, and it works your entire body. The bad thing is that many pools are not heated. Since most of us with fibromyalgia are extremely sensitive to temperatures, this is no bueno on the muscles.

The benefit of personal training is that you get individual attention, and the trainer can help you find the right exercise modifications to help avoid injury. The downside is that you have to look hard for an instructor who understands the nature of fibromyalgia and how to adjust your training appropriately. This is easier said than done and may require spending more money to have a specialized trainer.

My least favorite option has been the elliptical. For one, I get easily bored even though the ellipticals at my gym have televisions on them. Second, even though it is supposed to be low impact my knees just don’t seem to like the elliptical much (probably because of my crazy tight IT bands).

Today I was feeling reasonably alert, and my pain levels were low so I thought I would take advantage of it to get some exercise in. However, I knew that I needed to take it slow since I am still in the midst of a flare up (one good day does not mean the flare up goes away).

I decided to do the one simple exercise that I hadn’t tried and went for a walk around my neighborhood. Why I had never considered just walking kind of baffles me. It’s so simple. Perhaps maybe it seemed too simple.

I was by no means super athletic before I developed fibromyalgia but did dance some. I love the high energy of dance fitness classes, but I can only do them sparingly these days. Like I said at the beginning of this post, the hardest thing about living with fibromyalgia is learning to slow down. My mind still wants that high energy fun of Zumba class, but my body is just not ready for that at the moment.

The great thing about walking is that it is simple and efficient. So for now, I just need to slow it down and K.I.S.S.!

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3 thoughts on “K.I.S.S. –> Keep It Super Simple

  1. I have a hard time with keeping it simple too. RSD makes it difficult to do any exercise that is too vigorous, yet if I don’t do alittle something then I am afraid the limb will atrophy. Some days it is only 3 – 5 minutes on the exercise bike. Not easy finding a balance and you would think after 14 years of this I would have it figured out 🙂 So right there with you!

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  2. Adore this post- sharing it over on Fibromyalgia & Me Support Group where am one of the group leaders there over on MDJunction.com as want everyone to read this!!

    This motto is genius 😉 on so many levels!

    Just love your survivor creative mindset. Feel like we are on a similar wavelength for sure!

    Am mega resistant to exercise- can only manage very simple stretches. My CFS and Fibro is moderate severe to severe. Doctor sent me to physio 3 times- each time it made me worse. Aqua therapy was the worst on my body- set me back a long way for a long time. Also, have tried yoga yet even that was much too much for me! Have had to Keep It Super Simple for a long time! Yet, even though know what my body limits are am stubborn so overdo it often(just in doing too much with living in general- doing too much household chores plus such like) then crash! Sometimes over do it with my passion/hobby of crafting too!

    So need to remind myself of your motto- try my best to put it into practice!

    Am great at positive thinking yet not so great at pacing ;-)!!

    Sending super gentle hugs to you from this fibro mighty of 20 years( fibro entered life at 23 though diagnosed at 24- will be 43 this 11th June 2016), warmest wishes plus huge heartfelt thanks, Love Clara (user name on MDJunction )
    🙂 Dolphin smiles across the miles to You from here in Devon in England to You in your part of the world 🙂

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    • Thanks so much for your kind words. It has been a very useful motto indeed although even now I sometimes still overdo it like you mentioned. We just got to keep reminding ourselves that simplicity is best!

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