Lesson 5 of 10
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5) Getting Active

I-Engage May 1, 2021

In this lesson, you will learn about incorporating more activity and exercise into your daily life.

People living with pain find it helps to become more active and build fitness, even if it wasn’t part of their life before their pain developed.

This is because enjoyable, rewarding, and regular activity builds confidence to do things, and lessens some self-doubt regarding pain.

How can I become more active despite my chronic pain?

Like many people with persistent pain, you may be avoiding physical activity because you are worried it will make your pain worse.

These fears are normal and understandable when you live with pain. The last thing that you want is to aggravate it further! So, it may be encouraging for you to know that becoming active is actually good for your pain and sleep.

The key to improving fitness is to be consistent. To help maintain regular activity levels, there are a number of things that you can do.

Do physical activities that you enjoy

Quite simply, if you enjoy what you’re doing then you’ll be more motivated to keep it up. This could be anything from taking a morning walk to swimming to Tai Chi, Yoga, or dancing.

A couple on a hike together. The sun shines on them as the woman points something out to the man. She is holding binoculars in one hand.

Utilize pacing

Pacing is a really useful skill as it helps you find the level of activity that is right for your body. When you pace, you stop before pain, tiredness, or exhaustion forces you to stop.

Try doing activities outside during the day

Being outside in the daylight helps your body’s clock stay in balance with patterns of day-and-night and sleep-and-wake. It can also help calm stressful feelings. Additionally, sunlight is necessary for vitamin D production.

A woman on a morning walk in her running gear. She has her hands on her head as the sun shines on her.

Avoid energetic activities shortly before sleep

Exercising late in the day ‘wakes up’ your body and so it can lead to problems falling asleep or staying asleep. To help with sleep, the best time to exercise is late in the afternoon or early evening.

In the next topic, you will learn tips to become and stay active. To progress to the next topic, select “Becoming and Staying Active” below or on the left-side menu.

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