Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Inactivity Hurts

As every person who has ever carried around a lot of extra poundage knows, fat hurts. It puts excess strain on the joints, muscles and bones which can lead to chronic pain in the low back, knees, ankles and feet. I've experienced these pains almost daily for years. Getting out of bed was a chore. I had to find a close parking space at the shops because my knees and ankles would hurt when I walked. Work was a killer. But it wasn't just the fat that was making my body hurt, but my inactivity. Our bodies were created for motion, not designed to sit behind a desk, in a car or on a couch for hours and hours at a time. And this is going to sound like a load of bollocks but exercise can relieve chronic pain.

I definitely experienced "morning after" pains during those first few days when I added walking to my routine. But after that subsided, I noticed many of my other aches and pains subsiding as well. My feet, knees and ankles started feeling better than they had in years. Even my low back didn't burn as much as it normally does. This was enough to keep me going back for more until I hit the snag of a pulled muscle and a cold which put me out of commission for a week.

That brings us to this morning when I noticed the first signs of inactivity pains returning. I never would have thought it but my body actually missed the workouts. My cold is nearly gone so I did a two-mile power walk early this morning. The pain was gone afterward and I had a burst of energy that has carried me through a busy day. I may feel a bit of post-workout discomfort tomorrow but I'll take it and then relieve it with another walk.

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