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HomeHealth and LifestyleHow A Daily Movement Practice Can Help with Chronic Pain

How A Daily Movement Practice Can Help with Chronic Pain

KAWARTHA LAKES-Did you know that 1 in 4 Canadians are living with chronic pain? Chronic pain is any kind of pain that has been bothering you for longer than 3 months. I am sure many of us can say we have a nagging shoulder ache or a “bad” knee, which means we are part of this statistic.

Did you know that MOVING (even if we are in pain and don’t feel like it) can substantially decrease chronic pain? Movement is medicine! Even though there is not a single fix for all chronic pain, moving can certainly help to alleviate your symptoms.

Read on to find out why a daily movement practice can really help improve your chronic pain and injuries, giving you a higher quality of life.
Pilates for Balance & Strength

Our bodies are extremely adaptive and efficient. Sometimes chronic pain can be cause by muscular imbalances and alignment issues. If something is not working properly in the body, our (very smart) bodies will figure out a way to compensate to make it more efficient and thus, develop a compensation pattern. Over time, compensations can weaken the other muscles and joints. It’s like having one tire that is slightly deflated-it throws off our mechanics completely. Over time, this leads to pain!
Pilates is amazing because it focuses on cultivating a balanced body from top to bottom and all around and encourages lagging muscles to reactivate.  The engagement of lagging muscles to once again get active can help alleviate pain throughout the rest of your body as you gain strength and achieve a more balanced core and extremities.

Staying Active is Critical for Mental Health

Chronic pain can cause one to have symptoms of depression and anxiety, because it makes it harder to do all the things you once did with ease. Staying active is a great way to boost your self-esteem and make you feel like you’re doing something to fight your pain and its effect on your life. It gives you a sense of taking back control over your health-and you are! Exercising with friends or joining a gym or a class is a good way to both motivate yourself and reap the social benefits of exercise.

Exercise can Help you Maintain a Healthy Weight

If we are carrying around extra weight, it can make chronic pain symptoms worse. By engaging in regular exercise, you are doing your part to manage your weight and if you’ve been inactive for awhile, you may even lose some weight by starting a new routine. Figure out ways you like to move: maybe swimming, cycling, chasing your kids, or aerobics class.

As long as its something you enjoy, it will be easier to get excited about it and be more sustainable for the long haul. The prescription? Accumulate 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity per week and make sure you are doing some strength training and stretching on 3 days every week. I am a huge Pilates fan, but this can be anything from going to the gym, lifting soup cans at home or doing a few squats and lunges. You can do it!

Want to try out a Pilates class? I offer low impact reformer Pilates classes designed to restore your posture and strengthen your core for better alignment and less pain. Visit www.sweathappywellness.com for more details.

Becky Sheehey is a Holistic Health Coach, and a Pilates and Movement Expert with a background in Kinesiology. She lives in Lindsay.

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Becky Sheehey
Becky Sheehey
Becky Sheehey is a Holistic Health Coach, and a Pilates and Movement Expert with a background in Kinesiology. She lives in Lindsay.

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