Too tired and in too much pain to exercise?
When you think of nutritional therapy, you often think of eating different foods and maybe taking supplements. But working on lifestyle factors, particularly managing stress, is the third key component of any health management plan.
When I first started using nutritional therapy, I was really dedicated with taking my supplements and making changes to my diet – but I did nothing to change my lifestyle or reduce my stress levels. I still saw an improvement in my symptoms and my endometriosis became easier to manage, but eventually my improvement seemed to plateau. It was only when I added in some lifestyle changes that my symptoms improved again. Even now I’m not perfect at managing stress levels and sometimes if I’m busy that’s the thing that gets left out. But I know that if I lapse for too long, I can get a flare-up. These days it rarely gets to that point, as after a few days of either not going for a walk or doing any yoga I really miss it and have to do something.
One of the big barriers for me for focusing on lifestyle issues was that I was too tired and in too much pain and so didn’t see how I could fit in it. And the thought of exercise was a joke when it was painful to get up off the sofa and go into the kitchen.
But there were things that I could have done in 5 or 10 minutes a day and did not involve any movement or risk of making the endometriosis pain worse. I discovered all these things later on in my endometriosis journey, but they are now part of my endometriosis management plan.
Try them out and see if any of these could work for you too:
- Yoga Nidra – yoga but with no movement! Yoga Nidra consists of lying on the floor under a blanket and going through a process of guided body relaxation. As well as being deeply relaxing, it helps your body let go of any tensions and so pain. It could also help switch your nervous system into the rest and digest state. This form of yogic sleep is also very restorative if you are tired and have lost sleep due to pain. Have a look at Insight Timer or YouTube for examples
2. Breathing exercises – just a few rounds of breathing exercises take a few minutes, but can reset your nervous system into the rest and digest state and reduce stress. Do a search for endometriosis on Insight Timer and you can find some breathing exercises and progressive relaxation.
3. Have a soak in the bath – as well as reducing pain and tense muscles, a bath can be relaxing and help you drift off to sleep better.
4. Meditation – there are loads of free meditation apps, that can help slowdown your breathing and reduce stress.
5. Restorative yoga – this involves stretches that you hold for longer periods of time than a hatha yoga class so it involves minimal movement. The stretches are supported with props like bolsters and blocks so that your muscles can relax and let go.
6. A gentle walk – I know there will be days when you can’t do this, but on the days you can manage it, a slow gentle stroll can help release tension and release mood boosting endorphins.
If you would like some help putting your own endometriosis management plan together, then do book in for a free hormone health review to find out how nutritional therapy could help you.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.