exercising for chronic illness

Here are some benefits to exercise:

Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is not evil.

There is said it.

Stress benefits, mood benefits and helps with insomnia. Mostly though it helps with deconditioning. Although you might give me this face…

And in general, it may feel like…

And we think a lot of reasons why we shouldn’t

  • But it is difficult- overall it is. But in slow increments, it is easier to attain.
  • It adds pain- The idea is to not add pain, so you never want to get to that point of pain. Just feel it and stop.
  • It adds pain the next day- Which is why that is a down day. You can on this day do gentle stretches to ease the muscles and take an Epsom salt bath.
  • It causes immense fatigue- if this is the case, exercise to the point of fatigue and stop. Let that be your set point.
  • You don’t think it has a benefit- It does have a benefit to your health. Chances are it is going to change something for the better. Maybe the thing your doctor even said it would. Maybe something else. It certainly will not hurt you, if you do it carefully and slowly.
  • I feel like it might hurt me- If you feel that you might injure yourself doing exercise then you should go to your doctor and ask to be sent to physio where they can give you are routine to build up specific muscle groups to help with your exercise.
  • I lack the motivation- I generally reward myself each week of success and have with something simple. Helps encourage me. Other people exercise with people as that tends to help. Or have an online exercise buddy to motivate each other.
  • It isn’t fun- Nope it is not. Therefore it is best to play some music you enjoy which studies show help with exercise performance. Or do it in front of the TV. If you go for walks music or audio books is great. For the stationary bike, I prefer music.

Exercises To Try At Home For People With Disabilities  I saw this and it has some interesting things to try

Just remember when exercising:

  • Start infinitely slowly- Test yourself out. Start with going for walks. See how far you can walk before you get tired. Use that as your guideline and continue to do that. Some of us get post-exercise malaise. So you have to start really slow. Not to the point of additional pain or fatigue.
  • This is not a race- Increase by minutes if you need to. If you can do ten minutes comfortably then go up to 11. If that works, then 12 the next day. If that was pushing it stay there for a bit.
  • Once you have gotten used to walking for a bit choose activities that work for you. For me, it is a stationary bike. Although I may try water aerobics soon. Again pace yourself, find where you are at on that exercise and go through the same steps. On my stationary bike, I also started at the lowest resistance and working my way up.
  • You can break exercise up through the day as well. I used to do gentle stretches during certain parts of the day, then later do yoga.
  • You never want to exceed your pain limit when exercising. You want to get to just the point of pain and back off. The point is to teach your brain you can do these things without feeling pain. So to go to past that pain point would cause a flare up and be counterproductive and likely losing more than a few days of exercise as well. So keep it easy, slow, and consistent just meeting to that point.
  • Be patient- it took me a month of riding a stationary bike at 10 minutes to get past that point from a pure muscle fatigue point. Not even to the pain issue. My timeline I was given to get to an hour of exercise was more than six months of consistent exercise by the pain clinic.
  • Allow yourself pain days- there is no point in exercising on high pain days. And no reason to feel bad about ‘ruining’ the routine. As far as I can tell I have no routine but I still manage three to four times a week. Just so happens it changes a lot to what time of day and which day of the week it is. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Don’t let anyone say you are going to slow, not doing enough, not doing the right sort. Any activity is actually good activity when it comes to chronic pain. It is all beneficial to us. Maybe not what some doctor read in his study, but you know I read a study that said 20 minutes of walking had plenty of health benefits.
  • Never compare your progress to others- other people have different bodies, different levels of different conditions, different timelines. I know of some people with fibromyalgia that can exercise a lot and I am vastly impressed given my awesome start time of 10 minutes on the stationary bike but it is what it is. I have more than one pain condition and my pain is just at that point. I have to look at my progress day by day and not anyone else. Then when I got to 20 minutes I did a happy dance because it seemed like an insane improvement to me, relatively speaking.


exercise for chronic illness

One thought on “Exercise for chronic illness

  1. Think I will give these excersize a try, after all they can’t make the pain any worse than it at the moment. Fibro sufferer for many years now so hope this helps


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