Getting active, fitter and stronger can help you in many ways:
- Feel better about yourself
- Have more energy
- Be more confident in coping
- Help reduce and manage your pain better
Starting to become active and fitter can be quite tricky. It’s very easy to over-do activities and have pain flare-ups. It helps to have a plan, starting with easy to achieve goals so you can gain confidence. Choose things like an easy walking goal or some simple dance steps, look for a Tai Chi/Yoga class or do some simple spinal stretches. Then set a date, time or distance target as your goal.
To make it easy to remember use the SMART goal formula:
- S = specific activity (something active and enjoyable)
- M = measurable (how far you or how long or how often you have done the activity)
- A = achievable (can do it everyday at chosen time)
- R = realistic (possible to do in time and place where you are)
- T = time bound (set time for length of activity to reduce unhelpful overdoing or 'underdoing' the activity)
Build up slowly and steadily. When the activity becomes very easy to do, increase the time or distance. You can make a new activity goal or choose to maintain the same activity everyday.