Years ago, people who were in pain were told to rest, but now we know the exact opposite is true. When you rest, you become deconditioned — which may actually contribute to chronic pain. Your muscles may lose strength and shrink and your body may lose stability. As tough as it may be to start an exercise program, your body will thank you. Here are some benefits of exercising:
- Help you maintain a healthy weight. Exercise burns calories, which can help you drop excess pounds. This will reduce stress on your back and joints
- Enhance your mood. Exercise improves blood and oxygen flow to your muscles and contributes to an overall sense of well-being. Looking and feeling better can improve your confidence and self-image as well.
- Boost your energy level. Regular exercise can actually give you more energy to cope with chronic pain.
- Improve your sleep quality. Regular exercise can lower your stress hormones, resulting in better sleep.
- Protect your heart and blood vessels. Exercise decreases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack .
- Help you build strength. The stronger your muscles, the more force and load you’ll take off your bones and cartilage — and the more relief you’ll feel.
- Increase your flexibility. Joints that can move through their full range are less likely to be plagued with aches and pains.
- Make your body release endorphins. These chemicals block pain signals from reaching your brain. Endorphins also help alleviate anxiety and depression and stroke.