Pacing Your Exercise & Activity

What is Pacing?

Often people in pain get into a cycle of doing too much on good days and very little on bad days. This then results in less good days and more bad days with no improvement in pain. Those who struggle with long term pain tend to:

  • Sit down for long periods of time.
  • Do all jobs in one go.
  • Complete all housework in one go.

Pacing is not about stopping, but about improving your ability to complete the activities you enjoy with less pain and frustration. Pacing is about spreading your tasks out throughout the day.

How Do I Pace?

There are three things you can do to help pace your exercise/activity:

  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Break tasks into smaller chunks.
  • Gradually increase the amount you do.

Why is Pacing Important?

Pacing helps to manage pain and allows you to stop before your pain is too much. It can help you to:

  • Reduce the severity and frequency of flare ups.
  • Reduce the feelings of frustration and low mood with repeated flare ups.
  • Can reduce the need for medication overuse and the associated side effects.
  • Improve your ability to cope with activity and social settings.
  • Reduce the risk of losing physical condition.