When faced with chronic pain or illness, life can change quite a bit. You may not be able to do some of the things you used to do and that can be very frustrating. Be careful not to dwell in that place for too long. Finding the motivation to exercise when you are in chronic pain can be challenging but it essential to your well-being.LogoColorTextBelow

They key is to focus on what you can do no matter how small it is. Make a list of activities that you can do that will not aggravate your pain. Start with the smallest amount possible even if it is a couple of minutes of activity. The last thing you need is to overdo it and get frustrated.

Be patient with your body and don’t beat yourself up for not being able to do what you once could. That only creates more stress and more stress equals more pain. Look at physical activity with creativity and flexibilitySet realistic goals for yourself.   If you are not meeting your goals, don’t give up. Ask yourself what you can do differently to be successful. I know it might not feel like it at times, but there is always something you can do.

You might have to redefine what exercise means to you. I have worked with many clients who cling to an “all or nothing” attitude about exercise. All or nothing usually leaves you with nothing. Let go of the notion that you need to spend an hour at the gym every day for exercise to be effective. Let go of “no pain no gain “. Don’t worry about what everybody else is doing including the so called “fitness gurus” and “experts” and focus on what you can do.

In order to be successful incorporate things you enjoy into your exercise routine. Whether it is being outside or spending time with loved ones. Approach exercise with creativity and flexibility. Respect your limitations while challenging yourself just enough. Be compassionate with yourself and do the best your can in any given moment whether it is 40% or 110%.

Exercise can help boost your mood and energy level which are essential when faced with chronic pain. Exercise can give you a more positive outlook, improve sleep and even reduce pain in some cases. If you don’t know where to start, ask for help. Ask your doctor or your physical therapist. Find a class appropriate for your needs. You may need to try a few different activities to find something that works for you but remember – every accomplishment starts with a decision to try!

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