What do you do when you can’t exercise?

I ask because I know what I do, but I’m always curious what other people do.

I’m getting older, and I occasionally have to deal with some sort of chronic pain issue, right now it’s my back. I’ve had back problems since I was in my mid-20s. Sometimes they last a long time, sometimes they clear up quicker. Right now I’m undergoing a course of treatment but in the meantime I’m in a lot of pain and running makes it worse.

Here’s what I do when I can’t run, which is my regular exercise: First I look for low-impact forms of activity I can do, such as walking, yoga, weight-lifting (depending on the pain I’m having this may be completely feasible), belly-dancing, or biking. If I can’t do it in a large chunk, I do short bouts throughout my day. Short bouts are just as good and in some cases even better than one long exercise session.

Walking is one of my favorite go-to ways to get gentle exercise. I lost most of my weight using only walking for exercise, and walking is the best form of exercise I know for many diverse situations where working up a good sweat isn’t possible or acceptable (such as travel, or a quick lunchtime bout). Usually walking makes things that hurt feel better as well, so it is absolutely at the top of my list.

At the same time as I’m dialing back to more gentler forms of exercise, I am dialing up patrolling my intake. If, for some reason, I couldn’t exercise at all – not even walking – the only thing that would get me through would be to control my intake as much as possible until I was able to exercise again. It’s challenging work to do, but it’s even more vital when exercise is out of the equation.

What about you? Do you take any special precautions with your weight management efforts when exercise isn’t possible or has to be curtailed for a time?


2 Responses to “What do you do when you can’t exercise?”

  1. Princess Dieter Says:

    Because of my age and joint issues, I can have bad weeks. Right now, I’m having issues with a leg after a sprain, with foot drop. Walking is hard for more than a few minutes…I start to drag my foot. So, I do stuff I can. March in place (easier than striding). Do arm exercises. Stretch. Until I get better…and the joints hurt less. My Pilates trainer (I took Monday off) will do easier stuff, stuff for other body parts, non weight-bearing stuff, etc, just to keep me smoother and limberer until I heal. It’s a pain, but it’s a reality as we age. Things can get in the way of our regular, preferred activities.

  2. J. Says:

    there was an article the other day showing that yoga helped those with chronic back pain. seemed like it was not any kind of yoga but specific course.

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