While exercise is one of the most crucial aspects of overall well-being, it becomes incredibly easy to overlook, especially to those who are dealing with chronic pain. It’s hard enough sometimes to get motivated to get up and work out without the added burden of joint and body pain. However, exercising regularly can be a major source of relief to those struggling with chronic pain; here are four reasons why you should start incorporating exercise into your daily or weekly routine!
While all those motivational quotes and posters on Instagram and the wall of your gym might seem cheesy, there’s also some pretty good science behind it; there really is no feeling quite like finishing a workout. Exercise releases endorphins, which are basically nature’s painkiller; they block pain signals and, as an added bonus, create a feeling of happiness and euphoria. The payoff of a good workout is immediate and a great way to help naturally ease some of the pain you might be dealing with.
It might seem counterintuitive to exercise the part of your body that is in pain, but in fact studies have shown that exercising the sore muscles and joints is more of a help than a hindrance. Bones and joints are supported by certain muscles that help stabilize the joint and the body, which is why so many professional athletes are encouraged to practice yoga and strengthen these muscles.By regularly exercising these muscles, you will be able to build up strength and help stabilize your joints, thus preventing further injury.
While this does depend on your own personal situation, carrying around extra pounds is not ideal for anyone struggling with chronic pain. Losing weight will help lessen the pressure on your knees and other joints; every pound of weight lost decreases pressure by four pounds. Furthermore, staying at a healthy, doctor approved weight will help prolong your mobility and your life in the long run, and just a few hours of light cardiovascular activity a week will immensely strengthen your heart.
One of the hardest parts about chronic pain is no doubt the feelings of loneliness and isolation that can sometimes accompany it. A fantastic way to combat this is through regular exercise. There are dozens of different classes and community centers that will cater to your needs and create a built in support group. Even if you can’t find a class or gym that suits you, even gathering a couple of friends to walk around the neighborhood or swim some laps in at the pool is a great way to make new friends and establish strong connections with the people around you.
Exercise is without a doubt one of the most important tools in combating chronic pain. Just a couple of short sessions a week can immensely lessen pain and set you up for a longer, more comfortable life. Find something you love and stick with it, and you will reap the results!