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?