Tuesday, April 23, 2013

S... Stretch Before You Leap!

One of my favorite things is to go hiking and mountain biking with my fiancé and children. I have been an outdoorsy person since I was a little girl. My parents had the darnedest time getting me to come inside after a sunny summer’s day. Even now I wish I could spend all day, every day outside. My fibromyalgia, though, has put a damper on my active life. And I’ve gotten so frustrated with my body at times because it can keep me from doing what I love.

Yet, anyone who knows me can attest that I don’t give up easily. In fact, you could say I’m pretty stubborn. I don’t take too kindly to being kept from the things I love. And I will go out of my way to find some way around the obstacle. Consequently, I’ll never give in to fibromyalgia.

I still hike and mountain bike. But I have had to learn to make some changes. First, with my fibromyalgia this active, I must pace myself. I can’t go nearly every day like I used to. Fourteen-mile hikes are out of the question now. Secondly, I must always prepare my body. It is vital that I warm up and stretch before I exercise. Otherwise, I’m setting myself up for pulled muscles and painful muscle cramps. I also need to pack a snack and plenty of water. I easily get sick now if I’m hungry or dehydrated. Lastly, I have to pay special attention to my attire. I need comfortable shoes and multiple layers even in warm weather. I can easily get chilled if it turns too shady or windy.

Has your chronic illness interfered with the activities that you love? If so, how have you tried to compensate? What changes have you made so you can still pursue your favorite activities?

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