The frustrating thing about pain, is that it comes on so damn quickly. I can be feeling ‘ok’, and then BAM! Everything hurts. For me, it feels like there is a wave of pain, flowing through my body moving from joint to joint. Then they all hurt. It’s frustrating to say the least. My hands seem to get the brunt of it, especially my thumbs, which makes doing tasks
difficult damn near impossible. This time nothing was off limits, my hands, elbows, shoulders, feet and ankles all were victim. This has been my norm off and on, in varying degrees for a while now, but it has really increased in the last few weeks. So much so that I basically stopped doing everything and I stopped working out. To be fair, I had taken a few weeks off prior to this already, so I was already a few weeks without my workouts when the pain started. But I thought that if I rested, I would eventually feel better. Unfortunately this has not been the case. I’ve tried many things, meds, food, herbs, eating better, nothing has given relief.
This got me thinking. I know that exercise is beneficial for a number of reasons. It can reduce the risk of a number of diseases, it can lower blood pressure and help with hormone regulation, to just name a few. But did you know it can also help with pain and inflammation? Exercise can both cause and help reduce inflammation. It can cause it because during and after exercise, there are many systems in the body that are fatigued. During the recovery process, inflammation is created to help with the many areas in need of repair, this is a necessary process in order to see progress from your workout program. However, it also reduces inflammation by lowering the amount of various chronic inflammatory markers in your body, think C-reactive protein and cytokines. So it’s both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory at the same time! I thought that a few weeks of rest would solve my problem. What I didn’t consider was the few weeks off prior to this, then my self prescribed rest period, maybe NO exercise is my problem! I had been exercising pretty consistently all of last year, up until September. I got married, went on vacation, left my job, had surgery and took at least a month off for recovery. This got me up until December, when my workouts slid again. So I haven’t had a consistent level of anti-inflammatory help from exercise in months.
I know that my body just feels better when I’m working out consistently. I feel more together, (like literally, like my bones aren’t going to fall off my body), I feel stronger, more centered and mentally together. I thought to myself, maybe this is what I need to feel better. So I gave it a go. I didn’t try anything crazy, no huge barbell complexes or crazy powerlifting sessions, I just did a simple, quick kettlebell routine. I did 1 Turkish Get-Up per side, then 20 swings, 15 goblet squats and 10 rows per arm. I was careful to use exercises where I didn’t need too much grip. I worked through this lil’ complex twice. Only took about 7 minutes, but sure enough, it helped. I felt better mentally immediately after, and physically soon after.
I’m excited. I’ll be doing little kettlebell complexes like this (hopefully) daily. I guess the only prescription I needed was more exercise.
ExerciseRX is born.