How I Stay Active with Endometriosis
Last updated: May 2019
We all know exercise is good for us, but it’s also something that feels good to do once we get going with it. There are so many benefits to exercise, and I think it’s arguably even more important for those of us with endometriosis, especially when we feel like our bodies are weak or have let us down. Movement cannot only help us feel better physically and mentally, but it has the capability of helping us see our body in a different light too.
Whilst some of us are capable of doing amazing things with our bodies despite endometriosis, I find that using a gentler approach suits me best. So below are the key ways I stay active - even with endometriosis.
I don’t believe we should force ourselves through torturous workouts when we just don’t have the energy for it, so I also like to exercise according to where I am in my cycle. Whilst I practice yoga at any time, I up it during my pre-menstrual phase and menstrual phase as it’s gentler and helps alleviate some of the PMS symptoms I experience.
If I can, I’ll start my day with a very short yoga routine. It helps me get still before I start thinking about what I have to do that day, it wakes me up slowly and also gets me moving before a day sat at my desk.
I also use yoga as a form of pain relief. When I’m on my period, I use YouTube and follow the free routines for period pain to help me work through it.
I’ve realized on this journey that I am not a gym girl, instead, I use free body-weightworkouts YouTube. Body-weight exercises are moves that use your body as resistance rather than using weights, so this can include Pilates, Barre and popular workout moves like squats and lunges.
Because my energy can fluctuate, I stick to 10 minute videos that I can combine to make a longer 30 minutes workout or keep short if I’m not feeling too great that day. Some exercises can be gentle and some kind be more intense, so I get to choose what suits my body that day.
It also works really well - I’m seeing a continuous improvement in my body and strength, and that helps me to see my body in a new light.
Running doesn’t feel good to me with endometriosis. Instead, I try to get out for a walk everyday, whether that’s 10 minutes to the shops on a busy/tired day or for a long walk at the weekend. Walking enables me to feel the benefits of exercise (such as an improved mood1) without putting my body through its paces and exhausting myself. Getting in nature also reduces stress levels, can help us battle depression and increases feelings of happiness2 – all big pluses for those of us with endometriosis.
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