Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 8:20 am | Overcast 59º

 
 
 
 
Q&A with K & A

Fun and Fit: Go Ahead, Motivate My Day!

Chronic pain is, well, a pain, but it doesn't have to stop you from working out

Dear Fun and Fit: I am relatively healthy, but over the years I’ve developed arthritis and diabetes. I take medications that have added to my weight gain. Although I have access to a gym, I don’t have workout clothes. As someone with chronic pain, any suggestions on how to motivate myself to exercise?

— Liz in Alexandria, Va.

Alexandra: I’d say you motivate yourself the same way as those who aren’t in pain — by yelling, guilt, comparison with others, negative self-talk and a serious taunting of your mirror! Oh, wait (hits brakes and skids into ditch); those are actually found not to be motivating. Oh, that’s very different. Never mind.

» 1. Go with friends.

» 2. Wear comfortable clothing (doesn’t have to be “workout” clothes), but not ugly, baggy stuff that makes you feel frumpy.

» 3. Research has shown that arthritis pain is ameliorated by exercise.

» 4. Some interesting news just came out a few weeks ago showing that diabetes can be reduced or even reversed in combination with a good diet.

» 5. Do only a few minutes at a time. You will be miserable and unsuccessful if you try too much.

» 6. If your club offers a free intro session with a personal trainer, take it. Make sure it’s someone with knowledge of medical issues. A good trainer will be encouraging and give realistic, achievable goals.

Generally, yelling isn't the best motivator.
Generally, yelling isn’t the best motivator. (PhotoBucket.com photo)

Kymberly: I’m pretty sure Alexandra was talking about her parenting techniques in that first part. Finally she can put her master’s degree in counseling to some use besides making us all crazeeeee! More to the point, I want to add a few points:

» 1. Wear whatever will get you to the gym. Except the MC Hammer pants. So last decade or two. Believe me, everyone else is too busy with their own workout and body image to worry about what you are wearing — unless you’re not wearing anything. Guaranteed attention-getter. For more on this plus a laugh or two, check out our post from waaaaaay back when we were the same age and weight as now: “Do (Sexy) Clothes Make the Workout?”

» 2. Ask yourself: “What is the least amount of exercise I can do today and still feel I made some progress and did not aggravate my pain?” Whatever the answer is — 5 minutes, 12 minutes, 49 seconds — commit to this least amount and revel in accomplishing it. Keep asking this question every day. Lo and behold, you will find the minutes adding up, the guilt and overloaded feeling going down, your pain levels dropping and your gym fees worthwhile. But not going up. One hopes ...

Dear Readers: What skills do you draw upon to motivate yourself to be active? What is your favorite motivational quote?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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