Exercise can help reduce the level of pain you feel on a regular basis. Pain can make exercising more difficult, but these 6 strategies can help:

Find exercises that you enjoy. If you find an exercise that you like to do, you are more likely to do it, even if you are in pain. This can help you stick with exercising long-term.

Build exercise into your daily life. Experts say that you should exercise 150 to 300 minutes a week (about 20-40 minutes per day). You are more likely to exercise when you plan it into your schedule because you have already made time for it.

Get support from your family, friends, and your doctor. Having an exercise buddy or someone to talk to will help you be responsible for your health goals. Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program if you have chronic pain.

Record your progress. Write down the exercises you’ve completed and plan to do daily or weekly. You can also use an activity tracker. Note your goals and how far you have come. Keep track of your pain levels for each activity to see if any exercises cause additional pain.

Pace yourself with low-impact exercises. Respect your physical limits and slowly increase the intensity and time of your exercise routine. If you are in pain, the types of exercises you do now may be different than exercises you are used to. Low-impact exercises are least likely to cause lasting pain.

Table of low impact exercises

Take time to recover. Resting after exercise is important for managing pain. You can use heat, ice, and self-massage to help reduce pain after exercising. 

Mix these strategies up based on your pain levels. Use strategies that help you exercise when you are in pain. Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or program.

If you have chronic pain, low-impact exercises can change the game!