Last night I started my second week of a 32 week commitment to be a Silver Nano. I don’t know why it’s called that – it’s Crossfit for over 40s. We work our butts off twice a week. Last night was rowing, lifting weights, sit-ups, and more… I left with noodle legs, noodle arms, and my lungs had that well-used, tight, I-did-my-cardio feeling. It was great. This morning, I was stiff and sore and tired, and it felt so good. Hot shower, a stretch, a few pops and cracks, and a nap on the bus and I was as good as new.
It’s a conundrum. Why hasn’t extreme exercise, first with a 6-week bootcamp and then with a Crossfit program, knocked me on my butt? Why am I not only still standing but feeling rejuvenated both physically and mentally, even as my body aches? Why have the actual fibromyalgia pains decreased with extreme exercise? I’m doing the opposite of what doctors have told me and what seems to be recommended generally, and I didn’t work up to it. I started extreme exercise at my lowest point physically.
In the Okifuji article (see library), he says that exercises that generally help to reduce symptoms are “submaximal aerobic exercise, along with strengthening and stretching elements.” I’m doing hypermaximal aerobic exercise and intense strengthening with minimal stretching. I’ve done the submaximal aerobic exercises, like walking, and gentle stretching. Pool exercises feel great while I do them, but the fibro pain is intense afterwards. None of the exercises I’ve done have ever actually reduced the fibro pain consistently until these extreme exercise programs.
I’ve been careful of my knees and back – osteoarthritis – so I don’t injure myself. I am careful about landing jumps, about making sure my back is straight and my abdomen strong when I’m lifting. I’m a little slow, but successful.
Bottom line question for me: Why do the aches and pains of an extreme exercise fade within 24 hours? Why don’t aches and pains from submaximal exercises fade like that? Why does extreme exercise reduce the random fibromyalgia pain?
In case you’re wondering, I love aching from exercise. I wince when I raise my arm because my shoulder hurts, and I know WHY my shoulder hurts. It’s very satisfying.