I get that it’s good for us to move, no matter how, the length of time, or distance. I love to walk, and in my pre-fibromyalgia life, I walked for miles with no problems. Now, not so much. I did recently buy myself a Fitbit so that I would be more intentional about moving by keeping track of my steps. I live for the fireworks that go off when I make my quota! I know healthy people who walk 10,000 steps daily — my current goal is 950. And even with that small target, I get post-exertional malaise.
Webster’s Dictionary defines malaise as:
Wondering what post-exertional malaise is? Basically, it’s when you do more than your body is capable of, and you end up with an energy deficit. That could mean overdoing things physically, but also socially or mentally. I notice it if I’ve walked too far or if I’m writing or working on a project. It’s chronic fatigue on steroids. I am pretty useless for the rest of the day. Have you experienced this?
I find that when I overdo it — and it doesn’t take much — I have increased pain and decreased energy for days afterward. It’s so frustrating trying to stay healthy when our bodies continue to fight against us.
I don’t know how many of you suffer from incredible exhaustion after a bath or shower, but it’s so debilitating for me. That kind of complete exhaustion is what I experience after walking for about 10 minutes. I can’t believe I used to be able to walk a mile to work in high heels and not even be tired when I got there. That seems like a lifetime ago. We need to learn and maybe relearn to pace ourselves. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t push the boundaries a bit, but rather we need to be aware of our limits and respect them.
If you have chronic fatigue syndrome along with your fibro, this is a more complex issue. I think that because we are ill, we tend to be more fully aware of our limitations; when we are healthy, we can push the boundaries with little consequences in relation to loss of energy. What are your thoughts?
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