I will be honest here, exercise was never something I thought about when I began my natural healing journey with endometriosis. I just wanted to get through the day without pain and the thought of doing any kind of exercise, was just too energy draining. I would have bouts of exercise here and there and inevitably it would leave me feeling more sore and tired afterwards, which of course doesn’t encourage one to want to do more of it.
I have learnt a few things recently about exercise, which I thought I would share, to perhaps consider it from a different perspective.
1. It all adds up.
I think, being a perfectionist and all of that, we tend to think that we need to do a certain amount of exercise for it to be of value. I used to think that if I wasn’t doing at least 30 minutes of walking, it just wasn’t worth doing. What I have realized is that even just doing 10 minutes a day makes a difference. It is about doing something consistently, rather than doing too much in one go. I know, this is our natural inclination—I did that for years. I would do no exercise for months at a time and then suddenly feel that I needed to do something, so I would go on a 10 km hike. I would always be so super surprised when I would land up in pain the next day!
Just make a point of doing something every single day. It really does help your endometriosis and your whole body.
2. It clears your head and heart.
Sometimes we can be so wrapped up in what is going on in our head, to the point where we almost just want to shut it up! I found going for extended walks has really helped put some perspective on things and it really helps me bring things back to what really matters. This is so beneficial in reducing our stress levels. Stress is such a huge contributor to endo pain. Exercise just gets us out of head and heart and back in check with ourselves and being more present.
Be sure to really absorb where you are, what nature is around you and really breathe in the experience. Try not to think about all the stuff that is worrying you but rather allow yourself that time-out.
3. It will reduce pain from adhesions.
I think the reason the adhesions and endo hurts so much when we do those sudden bursts of exercise is that we are suddenly moving adhesions at a rapid pace. It is like pulling on an elastic bands over and over again for a long period of time. It is bound to hurt! If we do a little bit each day, those adhesions (elastic bands) can move gently and slowly and loosen a little.
It is in that loosening process that the body will find it much easier to tackle them to flush them out and repair the body. A big heavy mass is much harder to deal with than something that is a little softer and has been stretched a little over time. You will also find that your personal experience with adhesions and those cysts will be less painful as they won’t be quite as “hard” in the literal sense within the body.
4. It forces you to change your posture and breathing.
Many of us spend a huge amount of time sitting at a desk, car or generally in a seated position. When you review this position, you will notice that the abdomen is very much restricted. All the blood to the area has to squeeze itself in there. It is not open and easy to get at. This makes it harder for things to just flow—good stuff in and bad stuff out.
When we walk or move, we can allow blood flow and good breathing to bring oxygenated blood to the area and allow the bad stuff to flow out of the area. Walking is so easy at creating this—just by standing up we are allowing a more natural flow of things!
This does pose the question on cycling—I would be careful of using cycling as a form of exercise for endometriosis as it still restricts movement in that area. Try more “open” exercise routines like yoga, walking or tennis. Anything that encourages your body to be straight or even in position which open the chest or abdominal area are great. Dancing is super for this too!
5. You are aiding in the detox process.
Our bodies use different ways of expelling toxins. The most logical for most of us to recognize is through our digestion. There are other things that get stimulated when we exercise. We sweat, which allows the body to excrete through our skin. We also breathe more deeply, which allows more of the waste to leave our body through the lungs. Exercise also stimulates the lymphatic system, which is only activated through movement. The lymphatic pathways can often be blocked when we don’t exercise consistently. This means, toxic waste is still sitting in the body!
If you suffer from sore muscles and joints, this indicates an excess of lactic acid sitting in those areas. A good massage will clear them but regular exercise will ensure that build up doesn’t occur quite as rapidly.
So, you can see that the benefits of exercise are fantastic! I highly recommend getting into it, even if you start off with just 10 minutes a day.
Choose something easy to begin with and build yourself up to more. There is no measure here, just do something!
Feel free to share your current exercise routine. What has worked for you and what benefits have you experienced? Are you adverse to doing any kind of exercise as you think it will hurt too much? Feel free to share and ask questions.