Taking a slow and steady approach to increasing your activity level is crucial to successful pacing. By gradually building up your activity and being mindful of your body's signals, you can prevent overexertion and promote long-term pain management. Here are some insights and examples to help you understand the importance of building up slowly:
To build up your activity level effectively, first determine your baseline or initial tolerance level for a particular activity. This is the amount of activity you can perform without triggering significant pain. Your baseline might vary across different activities, so take note of each one.
Once you know your baseline, set small and achievable goals for increasing your activity. For example, if you can walk for 5 minutes without pain, aim to walk for 6 or 7 minutes the following week. By setting realistic goals, you'll build your capacity without causing setbacks.
As you gradually increase your activity level, pay close attention to your body's signals. It's normal to experience some discomfort, but if you encounter a major pain flare, take it as a sign that you've pushed too hard. In such cases, give yourself time to rest and recover, and consider scaling back your activity slightly.
Consistency is key to building up your activity level slowly and effectively. Aim to perform your chosen activities regularly, even if it's just for a few minutes each day. Over time, consistent practice will help your brain and body adapt, allowing you to increase your activity without causing pain.
As you build up your activity level, take time to acknowledge and celebrate your progress. Each small increase in activity represents a step forward in managing your pain and improving your quality of life. Reflecting on your achievements can help you stay motivated and committed to your pacing journey.