We have all been told at one stage or another to pace ourselves.
What does this mean to you?
Slow down? Stop? Take longer?
With chronic pain management, pacing is a key skill to learn for managing successfully your energy levels.
So! it fundamentally can mean all the above. Let’s use our pacing skills consider doing our washing.
We could wash each day a few things and hang them on the line, let them dry and take them off. (or in my case put them in the dryer or hang them on coat hangers).
There are only a few things to deal with, the job doesn’t take too long and I will have clean underwear on the days I am too busy or not up to the job.
I can leave it all to once a week, sort the loads, hang them up load after load and wait for them to dry, take them off the line. (imagine the issue about the undies if I can’t wash on this particular day…mmmm)
Option 1 was pacing – doing a little at a time to gain a successful outcome.
The same skill can be used when starting an exercise class, course or plan.
The first day watch the exercise, do one repetition and watch again, proceed with this plan for the whole class, even if you feel you can do more. Notice how you are feeling and where your energy is at afterwards.
Some increased muscle soreness can be expected.
The second day you may do as you did the first time as you found your energy levels were too low afterwards or you may choose to do 2 repetitions of each exercise.
The third day maybe 3 reps or 2 reps – pace yourself. Any exercise is better than none and more than you would have done yesterday if you hadn’t had a go.
The important thing is to remember exercise is for you to be the best you can be and how many repetitions you do is only a measurement for yourself not others.
Always consult your doctor before starting a lifestyle change such as increased exercise.
For more information, please visit:
Australian Pain Management Association
Chronic Pain Australia