My body feels different these days; I know this is to be expected when you start a new exercise but it feels ridiculous. My body feels like my old 75 dodge dart. When it was alive, it used to be reliable, but also had little ticks. To open the driver’s side door you had to turn the key and pull the lever, and kick twice. To use the radio you had to have the cassette tape half way in and out of the deck. At one point, to turn it on involved a key and a screw driver.
Right now my body feels like that. It still does what I ask it to, with some fiddling. I ask it to stand up, but it takes a little rocking on my butt, pushing of the hands on the chair, and grunting in my tummy. I am feeling old. I too, was made in 75 but I am not supposed to be old yet. I feel ancient, creaky, and sore. I don’t want to stop exercising, and my mom would say I am a baby sometimes. To be honest, I probably am a baby. I whine when I walk up the stairs to my apartment most of the days after I exercise. I have complained on here more than once. I get discouraged for sure, but you know the weird thing is that I have started to just get disappointed when I can’t work out. I get upset when I am too sore to work out. I also get a little ashamed. I feel like I am letting myself down. I have a pressure to work out everyday which I am hearing is not necessary after all. My best friend Christine is constantly reminding me it is okay to take a day off.
Doc Baxter wants me to work out thirty minutes a day for five days a week. The past two weeks I have only been able to do 40 minutes three times a week, because I am either sore or injured. I think after being inactive for so long, this is pretty good. I guess my fervor comes from the fact that I don’t want to stop all together. I also have years of feeling shame over not exercising. I am trying to do it all at once. However, I am learning what I know previously about food and exercise isn’t always the healthiest thoughts for me. I want to learn what I can do now, how I can break an unhealthy cycle for me.
So this is how it used to go, I would work out hard for like three days and then my body would feel like it is gonna die, and then I would stop and be ashamed that I stopped so I would never do it again.
New me, I am relying on the council of fit well adjusted people that I know who work out often. I asked my friends whether they work out on pain, and these are the reactions I got.
“You’re talking muscle pain right? I work out 5 to 6 days a week. Sometimes if I feel my body needs rest. As for muscle soreness, if I’m super sore and it doesn’t get better after a few workouts then I will take a day or two to rest the muscles. And having a post workout snack or drink with protein can help as well restore your muscles. I do a drink and I’m not near as sore for too long. And sometimes a really good stretch day is needed or a yoga day. Also plenty of water is needed!” –Valerie Denny Tolin
“One or two rest days are important during the week to avoid overworking your muscles. If I’m injured,I find alternate methods. I know I’m injured if I have a pulled muscle, tendon, sprain etc.” –Christine Pearson
“Pain is the reason I prefer doing Pilates. Pilates gives me muscle pain for sure, but when I get up and do them again the next morning, the stretching soothes the pain from the previous day. I always recommend doing a second day of working out if you are sore, but if you are still hurting on day 3 or 4, a day off is helpful. The suggestion above about having a protein snack after is a good one. I always liked an apple with peanut butter after a good work-out. These days I mostly just go for brisk walks at least once a day, but once I get a better handle on things, I’d like to get back into my Pilates. If you do nothing else, stretching is the most important thing you can do. As we age, staying flexible is the hardest thing to get back once lost.” –Marcie Blaylock
“To answer your question, there’s good pain and bad pain. Muscles ache after a good workout, and that ache can stay with you most of the time with an ambitious program. Injuries are another matter. Abusing an injury can cause long term or permanent damage. You are already getting a lot of advice, but get a heart monitor. Pulse rated exercise is the road to fitness. Also, you’ve been “sitting on your ass” in recent years, so go see a physical therapist. He/she can set you up with a sensible program that will avoid injuries. Also, you’re going to have to read some books if you are serious about fitness.”-Charles Eichelberger
And I thought this was so encouraging:
“I don’t think it’s good to be in actual pain when you’re working out, unless you are just into building muscle. I push myself to go so many minutes on the treadmill etc and get into my target heart rate for burning fat. I can do it without walking so fast that I get shin splits. I push myself to listen to a few more songs etc and I am sweaty & tired, but not in pain. When I do weights, I’m building up on reps and a little weight at a time. I should feel that it is hard and a challenge to make it thru the sets, but not painful. I think 3 times a week is a good goal. If you’re not used to it and don’t have a cheering crowd behind you, you will get burnt out or talk yourself out of going. Right now, I don’t hurt the next day, but I’m seeing big differences in my body. Do what your body can tolerate, try to build up a little more each week, and try to enjoy it by listening to music and tuning out everything else around you.”-Julie Trout
These are all awesome ideas and suggestions. I am so lucky to have people in my life that care about my health and are willing to help me. I also am going to try doing two days on one day off. That is my new plan and that will give me at least five days any week but will also give me days off. Today’s day off was really boring. I like having the walks to make things go faster at work. My walks break things up and make my days more cheerful. Today I just hobbled down to the park bench and vaped. BORING. I missed getting to see new things and watching people.
I think that emotionally my goal is to wipe out all shame related to trying. This is the thing that has always stopped me before. It is something that just comes up in my core sometimes without me knowing it. I have to break those bad habits. I have just as much right as anyone to get healthy. I am just strong as the next girl, well not my arms my arms are full of jelly. I mean I have an inner strength. If I bide my time, and if I keep plugging I think I can do this.