I came across this post about the importance of exercise with chronic migraine. The author does a good job explaining why it's so hard for those of us with chronic migraine to get into a good exercise routine. Long-term, exercise reduces symptoms of chronic migraine. But, in the short term, exercise can trigger a migraine or make a current headache worse.
My exercise of choice is walking. The only equipment I need is my shoes. (I did recently invest in TheraFit shoes because I tend to get plantar fasciitis in my left heel. So far, so good. I still need to stretch regularly, but I'm liking the shoes.) During the deep winter, I do use the treadmill, but it is theoretically possible for me to exercise by just doing stairwalking.
Walking is good for the whole body. It's an aerobic activity with good effects on the cardiorespiratory system. I try to make sure to stretch well a couple of time a week after I walk. I do add in some strength training exercises, mostly for my hips and core (because I very easily get greater trochanteric bursitis). But, it's admittedly hard to be consistent when a two day long migraine with a day long hangover breaks up the routine.
I also like to use the metaphor of walking in my spiritual and illness life. I don't like to think about always fighting my illness. I have chronic migraine. It is what it is. I don't like it. I never will. My doctor doesn't expect to cure my illness, but we agree that we need to keep my symptoms to a level that allows me to function at home. Every day, I get out of bed and walk through my illness journey.
And I also think of my spiritual growth as walking with Jesus. Every day, we walk together, some days more closely than others. He speaks to me through scripture, but also through circumstances and other people. And, of course, I pray. Our journey together isn't always smooth. I've had a hard time this winter with depression. I didn't feel Jesus very much at all despite lots of Bible reading and music. But, we're starting to sync back up again. I ask a lot of questions. Jesus doesn't give me all the answers. We're talking again, although the questions still linger.
Yes, I walk a lot in many different and metaphorical ways. Tomorrow's weather looks nice and I'm still on my prednisone, so there's a chance that I'll feel well enough to walk around town tomorrow. We'll see. No matter what, though, I'm walking through the chronic illness journey and walking with Jesus in my spiritual walk. Life is never dull or stagnant.