At 54 years of age, roughly 16 years ago, I chose to start exercising. Chronic pain had literally controlled my life for more than three years. I relied on prescribed medications for pain relief. While the medications temporarily and sporadically reduced pain levels, I aspired to have a richer and fuller life. Frequent, pain flare-ups prevented me from carrying out many day-to-day functional activities. My body was under the control of either Ms. Fibro (Fibromyalgia-muscle pain) or Mr. Arthur (Rheumatoid Arthritis-joint pain). While I FEARED the prospect of enduring the extra pain likely to come with exercising, the excruciating pain I was experiencing at the time left me with no other realistic choice.
In the Beginning
I exercised three days per week. I could only endure six minutes on the treadmill and five minutes on the bicycle. The body was so deconditioned and the muscles so atrophied, 11 minutes of low-impact exercise was all I could tolerate. Those first months were a struggle. But, as the days, weeks and months passed – the FEAR disappeared — the pain lessened –the body strengthened.
Over time, I have been able to add:
- 49 minutes to exercise time (11 minutes to 60 minutes);
- 2 days per week to exercise program (3 days to 5 days);
- 3 new cardio machines to the treadmill and bicycle (Step, Elliptical, and PreCor); and
- 10 circuit weight machines
Making the decision to start exercising was not easy. But, I chose to TRY.
Mr. Arthur and Ms. Fibro are no longer in control of my life:
- chronic pain conditions are adequately managed without pain medications.
- quality of life at age 70 is 100% better than it was at 54.
“It is Better to Do Something Late than Not at All”