#1 Get Physical!

Aerobic exercise is definately not something you're up for when you've been in serious pain for a long time, and that's why I got pretty pissed off at the doctor who told me this...

Back in 2003, I'd been through hell with my whiplash injury, when several months of waiting and getting sent from one place to the other brought me to this supposedly specialized neurologist who simply said: "There's nothing we can do for you, but you should try getting your blood pumping by doing aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day."

I was getting my blood pumping right there and then, but maybe not in a very healthy way. "Who the %&$/ is HE to tell me to exercise?? Doesn't he know what kind of hell I'm going through, I can hardly walk to the kitchen and back, and here this guy is telling me to get fit?" etc etc etc...

But a while later I got to try it out, inadvertently of course, as I would never dream of actually following the advice of a doctor I didn't get along with... but I had a good day and was walking up a steep hill, first it was just really tough and my breath was labored, but after a while I noticed that I reached that level where my breath sort of evened out and got calmer, I got more energy and the pain was completely gone, my body was warm and just felt great for the first time in a looong while. Afterwards my pain was significantly lowered for the rest of the day, very noticably so, and I came to remember that doctor and his advice...

I did some reading up and found out that getting your breath going like that maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood. Your heart beats faster, and increases blood flow to your muscles and at the same time your body releases endorphins, natural painkillers that make you feel good for a long time afterwards. All natural and even builds some muscle.

It will always be difficult to motivate yourself to move much at all when you're feeling awful, but it's definitely worth a try. Specially since it's free and it feels great.


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