Onto week 3: setting your activity goals! In my opinion, this is probably THE most important goal. The activity goal here refers to both general activity goals and getting back to activities during or after pain episodes. My first piece of advice for your activity goals is: START SMALL. My current goal for activity is: one hour gym workout 3 days a week. I chose only 3 days because I know that working 2 jobs and opening a business will be challenging. I will be upset if I miss my goal of 5 days a week, but I am sure I can make 3 days a week. Therefore, I set my attainable goal of 3 days a week and have been making that happen. Every once in a while, 4 gym days happen, yay!
Activity goals can sometimes be classified as FUNCTIONAL goals. If you have an activity that is limited due to pain, beginning that activity again is considered a functional goal. “I am unable to walk one mile with my friends on our usual path because of my back pain.” Your functional goal would be to be able to walk that mile with minimal increase in back pain. This is SEPARATE from a pain free goal. If you can finish a mile with limited pain and limited increases in pain after the mile walk, THEN you are back to meaningful activity which can make a huge difference in your happiness over time.
I try to do as much IN the office as I can as well, since the equipment is right there for me!
As with pain free goals, starting small is highly encouraged. Pick one activity and begin working toward that goal. If you have pain, ensure that your pain does not worsen, but stays consistent. That means the activity is still better for your body than consistent rest. If you are pain free but set an activity goal: work toward it also in SMALL increments in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed and pressured. Exercise and activities should be enjoyed! Get started today, and call the office with any activity questions (386-259-9018)! Schedule your appointment if you are avoiding meaningful activities due to pain!