Wellness

Setting Realistic Fitness Goals When Dealing With Chronic Pain

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Achieving optimal health requires setting realistic fitness goals. Setting attainable goals provides enduring motivation.

Know what you want

Individuals should have a clear vision in their mind of what they want to achieve with a fitness plan. What is the goal? If the goal is to become as physically healthy as possible, planning clear steps to achieve the desired result is important. The goal should be easily manageable and attainable. Individuals should know their limitations and set their goals accordingly. Motivation is quickly lost if unrealistic goals are set.

Get started with low-impact stretching to improve flexibility

Most strength training and aerobic programs require the muscles to tighten and contract. Starting with low-impact stretching improves flexibility which helps to prevent muscle injury and soreness. While stretching, proper breathing is important. Also, hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. A cool-down period after exercise is important, too. It helps the heart rate return to normal and eases any muscle strain.

Exercising tips for people with chronic pain
  • Discuss any new exercise programs with a health care provider.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Begin slowly and gently while gradually building endurance and strength.
  • Make exercise a daily habit.
  • Create an exercise program that incorporates stretching, strengthening and cardiovascular exercises.
  • Accept physical limitations.
  • Avoid overexertion.