My exercise routine has been evolving over time with endometriosis. At one point (before to know I have endometriosis), I was hitting the gym at 6 am but I was crashing from exhaustion by mid-day. Sometimes I was so much in pain that I was not able to stay focus at work. I’m still working on being more active, but I’ve pretty much got the exercises for endometriosis that are best for me down.
Whilst some of us are capable of doing amazing things with our bodies despite endometriosis, I find that using a gentler approach suits me best.
Exercising with Endometriosis takes effort. Chronic pain and feeling tired makes it difficult to do physical activity, but research shows that exercise:
1) releases pain-relieving endorphins.
2) promotes circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to your body.
3) decreases the estrogen in your body that endometriosis is dependent on. It’s worth the effort!
HOW EXERCISES HELPS ENDOMETRIOSIS
Sometimes the last thing you feel like doing when you’re in a whole lot of pain is exercising, but it can help in a multitude of ways. Here’s why:
- Exercise reduces inflammation within the body;
- Exercise helps with desensitization of pain;
- Exercise and stretching can help relax tight muscles;
- Exercise can improve strength and posture;
HOW I STAY ACTIVE WITH THESE EXERCISES FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS
We all know exercise is good for us, but it’s also something that feels good to do once we get going with it. There are so many benefits to exercise, and I think it’s arguably even more important for those of us with endometriosis, especially when we feel like our bodies are weak or have let us down.
Movement cannot only help us feel better physically and mentally, but it has the capability of helping us see our bodies in a different light too. If you experience fatigue or endo brain fog you should try some supplements like medicinal mushrooms.
So below are the key ways I stay active – even with endometriosis.
#1 Try Yoga
Yoga is something that I’ve just recently started getting into, and man, do I wish I would’ve tried it sooner. It’s really helped me to stretch out my abdomen, strengthen muscles, and reduce my pain levels. It’s the best kind of low-impact stretching for us gals with endo, in my opinion, and I’ve really been enjoying it.
I like to exercise according to where I am in my cycle. Whilst I practice yoga at any time, I up it during my pre-menstrual phase and menstrual phase as it’s gentler and helps alleviate some of the PMS symptoms I experience.
I’ve been searching for videos on the internet to follow so I can practice yoga in the comfort of my own home. So now, I start my day (if I can of course) with a short yoga routine.
Starting out, I researched yoga poses that would help me with what I needed (the Endometriosis Foundation of America has some great ones). Right now I’m in practice mode and am just learning the key poses—it’s a fun new adventure and I’ve really been enjoying expanding my knowledge during this phase.
Running doesn’t feel good to me with endometriosis. Instead, I try to get out for a walk every day. Walking increases endorphins levels in the body, that not only combat stress and depression but also help to relieve pain. Getting your heart rate up and breaking a sweat helps to rid your body of endometriosis-causing toxins and increases oxygen flow to your entire body. A brisk 30-minute walk can do wonders for your overall health, but go at your own pace, it should be enjoyable. Take a walk with a loved one to boost those “happy hormones” even more!
Low impact aerobic exercise: think brisk walking or swimming; upright cycling if tolerated otherwise the recumbent bicycle can be a good alternative; Aim for 30 – 60 minutes most days of the week.
Strength & core exercise: focus on slowly rebuilding lower back strength and core control with progressive Pilates movements and basic pelvis floor exercises.
Social activities: being with others and moving your body in ways you enjoy can be the best exercise there is! My advice is to explore other avenues of movement such as dance classes, bushwalking, lawn bowls, gardening, or water aerobics.
WHAT EXERCISE TO AVOID WITH ENDO
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this because the severity of the condition and its symptoms vary widely from person to person.
High-intensity workouts such as circuit training or intervals. This may further aggravate their already sensitized nervous system.
High impact exercise such as running or boxing.
Abdominal exercises such as crunches, or sit-ups. Most of the time these muscles are in spasm and overly tight from constant pain.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
I’ll be 100% honest. Some days my body is in too much pain and I’m not able to be as active as I’d like. My tip for days like that? Listen to your body and do what you can. Even if you’re just able to do a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood, it will still help. Exercise helps to boost your endorphins and reduces stress hormones—it also helps to reduce inflammation. So that walk, even if you’re only able to do it for 10 minutes, will work wonders.
Get the picture out of your mind of you sweating in the gym, just for now. Start small and work your way up—your body will thank you. My active journey is slower than others: I take my time, I’m intentional about my movements. You know what? That’s okay! Some days I only get out to take the dogs for a walk, but it’s still helping me to build upon what I did yesterday and the day before that. So get out there and get active in your own way!
Exercise is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to improving your quality of life living with endometriosis!
So it’s important to find the type of workout that appeals to you and that you can do comfortably, and talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor can advise you as to whether you’re on the right track with a safe exercise plan that won’t aggravate endometriosis symptoms like pelvic pain.