Trying to Move When You Don’t Want To
Last updated: December 2021
Movement. Something we all know helps us with AS. Movement is medicine. Have you heard that before? I know I have.
But what if we don’t want to move? I can tell you more often than not, I don’t want to move. I want to stay in bed and distract myself from the pain and stiffness.
Every doctor I’ve had tells me I need to exercise. I understand how important this is, but until you live with this disease, you don’t know just how hard it is to move some days due to pain, fatigue, stiffness, and whatever else we are going through.
The importance of movement
If you have ankylosing spondylitis, chances are you’ve felt that “tin-man” feeling before. The only way to not feel like that is to oil yourself with movement. Whether that be a walk, yoga, stretches, or whatever exercise is best for you.
I used to do yoga every single day. That was back when I hadn’t really experienced severe fatigue yet. Now that I have severe fatigue every day, yoga hasn’t really been an option for a few months.
I’m lucky if I can get out of bed a few times a day. I know this is bad. I know I need to exercise, but when I experience that body heaviness, it’s hard to think about being able to move my body.
We don’t want to feel stiff forever. We know that when we wake up with that morning stiffness, it eventually does go away once we get going. That’s because we are moving. If we stayed in bed all day, chances are that stiffness wouldn’t go away. That’s why we need to move.
I’m trying my best
I’m not saying that if you don’t move your body every day and exercise, you’re doing a bad job. Trust me, most days lately I don’t do much moving. Especially with the weather getting colder, it feels even more difficult to find movement in my days.
I try to go for walks, but they aren’t often. I try to do yoga, but it isn’t often. I know I need to do better. Maybe this is a sign for both of us that we should stop what we’re doing and do some stretches!
Even if your stretches are in bed, that’s more than doing nothing! Try them in the morning when you wake up, or right before bed. If you sit at a desk all day, pause and do a stretch or two! Any little movement counts, trust me! I’ve been trying bedtime or restorative yoga when I can actually do yoga. Less movement, easy stretches, and it still counts as movement.
Let’s encourage each other!
Let’s make a promise to try to do more stretches. I know I want to now, but I won’t want to later. If I make a promise to you to do this, at least I’m a little bit more accountable. As long as I just do a few stretches per day, and work my way up, this could work.
Let me know what exercise you like to do! I’d love to get more ideas for exercises!
Have you ever had to take a leave of absence from work due to your symptoms?
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