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How to Exercise Through Long-Term Illness

How to Exercise Through Long-Term Illness

When we’re not feeling very well, most of us take a break from our usual exercise routines. If you’ve got a cough or a virus and you’ve been forced to take time off work, or even if you are trying to go about your day to day routine while fighting off your symptoms, you might decide that the best thing that you can do is get more rest. There’s nothing wrong with this and sometimes getting in bed, binging on a box set and enjoying your favorite snacks and hot drinks is precisely what your body needs to feel better.

In these cases, you usually recover quickly, and you might find that you are ready to start building up to your usual fitness regime after only a few days and that you suffer no long term loss of fitness. Unfortunately, however, not every illness is short-term. Some of us struggle with chronic pain, sickness and other conditions that are either long-term or life-long.

In most cases, exercise can still be a good thing. It can be a significant boost to your mental health. It can get your out of the house meeting people. It can help you to control your weight, reduce your blood pressure, boost circulation and keep your organs working to their best. It can also help you to manage your pain levels. While you might not be able to hit the gym with a carefree attitude, you can still exercise. Here are some tips to help you.



Know Your Body

When you are exercising with a long-term illness or injury, it’s crucial that you know your body. You need to know what you can and can’t do. You need to trust your instincts and know when to stop, and you need to know what feels right, and what doesn’t. This might mean learning more about your condition and asking your doctor for advice.


Get the Tools That You Need

Everyone should invest in the tools that they need to exercise safely. For some, this just means supportive shoes and a sports bra. Others might need colostomy products or joint supports. Get what you need to make exercise safe and comfortable.


Go At Your Own Pace

Exercise doesn’t have to be about setting records, beating your personal best or training for events. It can just be about keeping fit and healthy. Don’t try to compete with other people. Just do what you can, when you can, moving and improving at your own pace.


Try Different Exercises

Your body might not be able to do the same as everyone else, and that’s ok. Try different exercises to find something that you can do comfortably, even if it’s just walking.


Have Some Fun

Exercise should be fun. If you enjoy it, it will have a greater impact on your mood, and you are more likely to stick with it. Let yourself enjoy it.


Find Support

Having an exercise partner or gym buddy can be a good idea. It can be someone to help motivate you and keep you going, but it can also be someone to take care of you if you have a health issue while you are exercising.

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U.S. Daily News: How to Exercise Through Long-Term Illness
How to Exercise Through Long-Term Illness
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