How To Exercise When Exercise Hurts
source: Gioconda Beekman
My doctor is always telling me to walk more. He says I should be doing 10,000 steps, spread out through the day.
Easier said than done.
What he fails to understand, is that even short walks hurt. After just a few minutes my back burns, my hips flare up and my feet start to ache. Even the slightest exercise is quite difficult for me.
This used to make me very depressed. I felt like I could never get healthy.
However, I have come up with an effective solution that really fits my needs. It isn’t a long term exercise plan, but it works great as a way to ease into exercise.
What makes my method so useful?
- I can do it indoors. There is no need to leave the house in bad weather.
- I can walk when it’s convenient for me.
- I can start off very slowly and gradually increase the length of time I work out.
If this sounds good, read on, because this may be the perfect exercise plan for you too.
Here’s What I Do:
1) I don’t schedule a specific time to exercise. Instead, every time I get up for any reason, that action “triggers” a walking session. In that way, I wind up with many irregularly timed walks, spread out throughout the day.
For instance, when I get up to get a drink of water, I immediately walk in place before resuming my seat.
Since I get up often (bathroom break, snack break, door bell, phone call, etc) I automatically get at least 10-15 mini walks daily without any planning involved.
If on occasion, I find I’m not getting up enough naturally, I do things to purposely increase my walking sessions. I may only eat half a snack at a time so hunger forces me up again in another hour. Or, I might make sure that tools I’ll need later in the day are in another room, instead of sitting on my desk.
2) To make it easy to get motivated, I only require myself to do 10 steps. That is such a quick and easy amount of exercise, that I am rarely reluctant to go through with it. However, I find that once I get started I’m usually willing to do a lot more.
I generally do between 100 and 300 steps. This is about 1-3 minutes worth of walking, which is the perfect amount to stretch out my back and hip muscles and refresh me.
However, as long as I do even the minimum 10 steps, I thank myself and congratulate myself for doing a good job.
3) My usual choice of activity is to walk in place. I don’t try to power walk or to race. I just do a simple, leisurely walk.
However, to avoid boredom, I sometimes vary my routine.
- Every four steps do a small kick
- Every four steps do a short grapevine routine
- Incorporate some salsa steps
- Every ten steps add four quick claps
- Every ten steps add a right side step and then a left side step
4) When the walk is over, I then go back to my original activity and wait for the next naturally occurring break to arise. I continue to do this until I have done at least ten walking sessions throughout the course of the day.
Using this method I can do as many as 3,000 steps in a day.
This isn’t as much as my doctor is requesting, but through practice, I hope to get to the point that I can do a full walk around the neighborhood.
Already, I can walk from my apartment to the bus stop without much difficulty. This is a massive improvement for me.
Disclaimer: It’s important to check with your doctor before starting this, or any other, exercise routine.