Having a Chronic Illness and feeling well enough to work out is tough. Working out at the frequency and intensity of my healthy peers is an expectation right now that I have let go. Am I saying I will never be able to work out like my friends? Absolutely not! I am just saying, that because of chronic illness we have to take a different approach and be more mindful of our bodies!
So what can I do to work towards achieving my fitness goal!
- I can never say this enough. Listen to your body! IF you are not feeling well, are experiencing increased fatigue, or have increased symptoms or pain- listen to your body and pass of on the workout for the day. It’s better to rest and let our bodies heal than to potentially make ourselves sicker.
2. Hydrate and replenish electrolytes ! Stay hydrated! Also, you need to replenish your body with electrolytes lost in sweat, especially for longer workouts or intense workouts! If you can not do Gatorade or powerade you can try watering it down 3 part water 1 part powerade. If the sugar or fake sugar content is still to much for you body to process (like me)- try vegasport electrolyte powders! Its a plant based electrolyte powder you add to water. Lemon Lime ingredients: Natural lemon and lime flavors, citric acid, DL-malic acid, stevia extract, silicon dioxide For more information, google these products or other electrolyte products that may work for you!
3. Eat lots of protein. Protein is used for HEALING! We need to eat protein more often, especially when we are not feeling well! Protein is used to heal muscles that are “torn” essentially when you are working out, that is how people build muscle mass. But more importantly, we need more protein because our bodies need to heal from our illness and we need energy to go and workout! Otherwise, our body expends energy from our bodies to try and heal the “illness” resulting in loss of proteins from muscles to heal. Click here for sources of protein: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/good-protein-sources
Also, be mindful if you can’t do dairy to stay away from whey protein powders. IF you have IBD- look into rice based protein powders or vegan powders/plant based powders – but be sure to read the ingredients!
4. Stretch! If you are like me and spend a lot of time on the couch, then your muscles often get tight from not moving around enough. Or you may be experiencing joint pain and depending on the severity you may benefit from stretching. Depending on your situation, you may need to get clearance from your doctor before stretching or working out. But once in the clear, it is important to warm up your muscles prior to a work out and stretch your muscles after a work out! Or your fitness routine may be yoga which is a combination of strengthening and stretching! Whatever your fitness routine is, don’t forget to stretch!
5. Consider working out for a cause! Whether it be a zumbathon for MS, walking with charity miles app, or completing a race (5K, 10k, 1/2 marathon, or full marathon) for a cause- get involved! This provides motivation for your workouts, holds you accountable, sets goals, provides an opportunity to make friends, and raises money for a great cause to find cures! Look into local or national chapters of important causes for events near you! 🙂
*Please consult with a doctor before partaking in any exercise program as I am not a licensed professional to dispense such advice. This advice is based on my own personal experiences and knowledge.
*photos compliments of google search