Why Exercising effectively with a chronic illness is important.
Learning the importance of listening to your own body is sometimes the hardest hurdle...
With the rise of social media comes the rise of the fitness "inspirations" lifting heavy weights, enduring marathons, almost living in the gym. Sometimes its hard not to walk into a gym and get going into that high intensity workout you watched on Instagram earlier that day. or spend the time comparing yourself to the other people in the gym who are sweating buckets while you are dry as a bone but are doing what you can to keep your body moving.
Working out to feel healthier and better in yourself at your own pace is the best thing for you. Learn how to create a trusting relationship with your body. Just how you would learn to ride a bike. Don't be ashamed to start with the minimum and as your workouts slowly evolve so will your body. No two days are the same with an invisible illness, therefore, before a workout ask yourself "How is my body feeling today and how will it feel tomorrow if I do this?"
I am in no way saying not to push yourself during your workout, just know your boundaries and the consequences of your actions. Keep listening to your body;
Will your workout cause you to need longer rests? Do you need to slow down or stop for today? You've made it to the gym and started your workout but your body is telling you to stop?
Remember - There's no such thing as giving up if you have already achieved the first milestone.
You may need to remind yourself that everyone is different. Do not kick yourself if you cant do the same thing that other people can or that you may have been able to do before but not today. Planning ahead and learning to adapt your exercises to cater for your needs CAN help your symptoms. This means scheduling the right amount of rest time for the workout that you are doing. Move everyday but in ways that are adapted to your body e.g. Knowing that you are due a hair wash and will need to dry your hair - Working upper body may not be the best idea for you that day,
Don't forget that self care comes in a range of different ways. Consulting a medical professional and trying out a variety of exercises and choosing what suits you, to resting and recuperating for as long as you feel you need, will ensure you are doing what you can to keep the most active lifestyle possible for you.
Never be ashamed of taking small steps!!