Many of my online friends suffer from chronic illness, just as I do. I get asked how I manage to work out while dealing with Lupus and Rheumatoid quite often. Well, it isn’t easy. Still, I find it vital to keep active, despite my illness. What you don’t use, stops working entirely with these diseases hammering away at you. Here’s what I tell my friends about my experiences exercising with chronic illness.
Give it time.
If you’ve been sick for a while, don’t expect to just jump right in where you left off. Your body has been dormant for months. Your mind is raring to go. Your muscles and joints may have other ideas. So, start slow. Be sure you are getting proper nutrition. Stay hydrated. Work your way back to your former condition slowly.
It’s OK to rest on those bad days.
Considering the condition you’re in, you may not be ready for that personal training appointment every time. If you have this type of commitment at your gym, be sure to let your trainer know that you may not always be up to par. Explain that on bad days, you may have to cancel or reschedule. Most trainers will understand, especially if they have schooling that includes rehabilitation.
Learn your limits.
Even if you were a rock star before, chronic illness or pain can keep you from reaching your full potential. Sometimes you have to simply accept the fact that you may never run marathons again. Instead of trying to go all out, reach for the top of your limitations. Stretch those limitations by small degrees, rather than hurting yourself trying to reach impossible goals.
Be willing to accept defeat.
Oh, boy! Last night, I should not have played that interactive dance game with the grand-kids. That’s OK. Lesson learned. That’s just something I’m not quite ready for yet. It was quite disappointing, not to mention, painful. Instead of being upset with myself, I’ll take that lesson to know what I need to work on. It’s OK if you can’t do some things. Really it is. Use that knowledge, not to be depressed, but to file in the work in progress box.
Concentrate on the things you can do.
Keep focused on the positive. For instance, a few months ago, I had trouble lifting my arms over my head at all. Chronic illness will do that to you. Guess what, though? Last week, I used small weights and lifted them over my head and slightly behind my back. For most people, that doesn’t sound like much. For me, it was one of those small triumphs that I focus on. When I start thinking too hard about my limitations, those thoughts are the fuel that powers my determination.
More from Jaipi:
Meeting Your Life Goals Through Chronic Illness
Understanding Chronic Illness From the Outside
Finding Inspiration in Chronic Illness