It is often the fear of pain or the fear of injury or harm that prevents people moving and exercising in such as way as to improve their quality of life.
By addressing the fear of movement and exercise you can begin to move and perform activities more normally, which will:
- Break the cycle of inactivity and pain
- Improve your quality of life by improving physical functioning and overall well-being
Regular normal movement
Routine of gentle exercises
Increased functional abilities
Gradual fulfilment of goals
Increased confidence and self-esteem
Your level of fitness may have reduced because you have been less activity since your pain problem started. Each of us has a different definition of fitness. Work out for yourself what fitness
would mean for you and aim for that, e.g. walking up stairs without getting out of breath, hoovering a room without being exhausted.
See 'Activities and Goal Setting' and 'Pacing' for further information about planning activities.
Strength, Suppleness and Stamina
- Strength of muscles, e.g. getting up out of a chair
- Suppleness is the range of movement in joints and elasticity of muscles and soft tissues e.g. reaching up to a high shelf, bending down.
- Stamina is the level of cardiovascular function e.g. efficient heart and lung function
The benefits of exercise and improved fitness
- Reduced pain
- Strengthens the heart and improves lung function
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps with weight control
- May help prevent osteoporosis (thinning of the bone)
- Beating stress– decreases muscle tension – helps you cope better with stress
Decide which exercises or fitness activities you are going to do in a day and do them!
If you forget to exercise one day, don’t do twice as much the next day.
Any exercise you do that is more than you have done before is already a success.
Dr. Claire Winchurst, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Ms. Caroline Waterstone, Specialist physiotherapist