Woo, am I in pain today. It's a nagging, aching kind, the kind that just lets you know that it's there and it doesn't want to go away. It likes to sit and party in the joints on my chest and back. What happened? Like most people, staying on a strict exercise regimen is hard for me. I go through periods of really great follow through, but then my pain increases, and I get into a slump of no workouts for the next month or so. In the beginning of January though, I got back on a light regular workout schedule that involves going to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday morning before starting work around 9am for Damon, weight lifting on Saturday or Sunday morning, and on average, a hike every other weekend. So for the past month, I have stuck diligently to the T Th gym routine. I wake up at 7am, get to the gym by 7:30am, run a mile on the treadmill (I hate running), and then go through stretching/yoga/pilates routine on the mats. It's a very short workout because my brain hates long workouts and will use it as an excuse to not exercise at all.
Tip: If the idea of "working out" makes you think about the amount of time required/wasted, which then often causes you to not want to go, try cutting your workout down to a shorter time...like 30, or 15, or 5 minutes. 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes.
And gradually over the month, my pain got a little bit worse. Where does it come from? A physical therapist at a clinic that I used to work at treated many individuals who have Ehler Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a condition in which there is a genetic defect in the body's connective tissues. Symptoms include hypermobile/unstable joints and fragile skin. So the PT and another patient with EDS who is a huge patient advocate for others living with EDS noticed that I have certain signs and symptoms of EDS. It helped to explain why, for some reason, I could no longer sleep on my side because my ribs would feel like they were being smushed together. It explains why I got minor labral tears in both hips after running 2 measly miles last year. It explains why my stomach is so sensitive to certain medications. Anyway, I was never clinically diagnosed, so I am not saying for sure that I have EDS. However, whether I have EDS or not, I learned to increase my body and sensory awareness.
Throughout this month, I was hyperaware of how I slept (on my back and not on my side), tried to stay hydrated, and took nice hot showers. But today, I woke up and was hurting pretty bad. I'm pretty sure it's the impact involved in running that is increasing my pain. So I didn't want to go the gym. But I didn't want that to be my excuse to break my strict T Th exercise regimen either. Movement tends to help my achy joints, so I figured, I'll just try some low impact yoga and stretching instead.
I got through the yoga and pilates, and I felt better afterwards, mentally and physically. I took a hot shower and felt even better. So I think my modified workout routine will be running on Tuesdays, yoga on Thursdays, and weight training/hiking on the weekend. We'll see how it goes, and I'll keep you guys updated. I'm hoping to go back to swimming at some point too.
As I stand at my makeshift standing desk in the kitchen right now, that achy pain is creeping up again. So I know that I need to take a break. While writing this post, I walked around my apartment and shook out my body at least 5 times. I am now going to run to Target to get a heating pad.
I hope you all have a pain-free day!