Starting a Steps Challenge – Gentle Exercise with Fibromyalgia

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Last Updated on May 4, 2022 by melissanreynolds

I’m really excited to be able to share with you today about my steps challenge that I am doing. So I decided that I really wanted to do an active challenge because we all know that gentle movement is ideal for a body. Our bodies are made to move. Muscles are made to be used.

The steps challenge begins - gentle movement with fibromyalgia

And as a mama with four small children, a chronic illness, a part-time job, a blog, who’s in the process of editing a book and getting it ready to be published: It is difficult to fit in my movement. I’m also having trouble with sleep.

My baby, who is one-year-old now, has just started to learn to sleep a little bit longer stretches at night. But when he’s asleep, my body is asleep, but it’s not sleeping well. My deep sleep is compromised. Obviously, that’s a hallmark of fibromyalgia. But it’s worse than usual.

I’m hoping that by increasing my movement, in a more sustainable and measured way, it will help.

So I decided to set the goal of moving 7,000 steps a day. I came to that goal by looking at my Fitbit, looking at the average lot across the last few weeks, and seeing what was achievable, what I have been managing. And then also thinking about avoiding pain.

So for example, I might do eight to 10,000 steps in one day. And those usually involve a good walk with the kids, but I couldn’t do that every day without pain. I’d have to slowly build that up. So I decided that 7,000 steps was something that was achievable. Something that I could do, something that shouldn’t cause too much pain, but also something I could grow on.

Setting Your Own Active Goal

That goal is going to look different for everybody. For some people, it might be five minutes of stretching in their chair. For others, it might be stretching in bed. It could also be a 10 minute walk.

I’ve created a printable which you can download for free and use yourself. And then you can track it off yourself off, just to get yourself moving.

So this is your own goal. This is not about pushing ourselves. This is not about anything terrible. It is about having a nice time and increasing our movement and whatever that movement means for us.

The Foundations of Yoga for Chronic Pain and Fatigue program is designed precisely to help us start or adapt a yoga practice for us. This will help you get your movement habit started.

foundations of yoga for fibromyalgia

The first few days of my steps challenge

So what’s it been like? Well, I can tell you the first few days were a bit interesting. It was really fun to get to think through activities and opportunities for movement as ways to get my steps in.

For example, one of the days we went out to the mall, we were trying to get a specific thing. We never found the specific thing, but I got my steps in. So I was pretty happy. It was a win.

My challenge tracker on day three

On the second day, it was really funny because I hadn’t made my step goal. So I actually spent about minutes walking around what I call “the block”. So my lounge, hallway, dining room, I was walking around and then and walking on the spot for a bit and then walking around for a bit, just to get those last steps in. I actually got my heart rate up. It was pretty good movement.

On the fourth day we had a thunderstorm and so we went basically straight from impossible to walk outside to everybody’s coming home. The entire evening rush is happening, so we couldn’t go out. So I actually did my little round, the block walk, kind of preemptively in the afternoon. I was wanting to get out for walk, but there was just no way. I had to cook dinner and watch the kids. The younger two were a little bit under the weather and I knew the big two were coming home really soon.

So it’s really been cool just to think always what can I do, and that is my favorite way to think of things. I knew that I wanted to increase my movement and I wanted to make it a bit fun and I want to try and improve my sleep, and exercise are known to help with sleep, as long as we’re doing it carefully and not increasing our pain.

Because if we increase our pain and it’s all over.

What can I do?

I can be active. I can do extra steps. How can I get my steps in now? I can walk around the backyard. I can march on the spot and around the lounge.

I’ve got my tracker and each day I put my big tick in, um, when I have completed it and write down the number of steps. But you could also color it in whenever you like. I’ve left it open to interpretation for you.

So get yours. Come over on Instagram and tag me when you put your daily step goal or movement goal up each day using your tracker, I would love to see how it goes for you, but this is the beginning of the challenge I will keep you updated, I’ll let you know at the end of the challenge.

Check out the video about the steps challenge

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