Chronic Illness, Exercise & Activity, Routines & Structure, Triathlon

Back To The Basics – Being Active With Chronic Illness (3 Minute Read)

Recently I posted a poll on my Instagram with a variety of topics to my followers. The winner was “Working out with chronic illness,” and even though I am an IRONMAN, I’m not in an excellent place health wise right now. For this reason, I wanted to talk about something EXTREMELY important, the BASICS.

Living with a chronic illness means that our minds are normally healthier than our bodies. We wake up every day, open our eyes, and think “I’d love to do this, this, this, this, this, this, and this” (Insert whatever you’d like to replace all of those). But then our bodies enter into the equation, and a long list of tasks we’d love to get done, sounds like a season of the Amazing Race.

This is why Spoonies have to take a more in-depth look at their current activity level, and what a realistic level of activity might be. We watch sports, movies, and other options of entertainment which makes our brains think that it would be so easy to be active. We can sit there, watch a friend complete a half marathon, and decide that looks like a great way to overcome our illness.

BUT WAIT, it might not be feasible to take on a challenge so big given a current state of health. This is why getting back to basics is so important. We can’t set a goal to complete a half marathon or even a 5K when we can hardly get out bed with our body screaming “NOOOOO” at us.

So how does a spoonie get to a better place with their health to get there body moving again?

It’s simple really, THE BASICS. Right now I am trying to jumpstart my body to begin training for a 70.3 half IRONMAN in Maine. Currently, every day is a challenge. My asthma has been a big part of this. Not being able to breath when I wake up is a difficult way to start the day. I think it’s evident that while the weather is getting warmer and I would generally be outside by 6 AM running, I’m not in a position to do that right now.

Instead, I am taking my time, changing my mindset, and realizing that keeping it simple will give me the best chance to get back to a stronger place with my health. So while I would love to get outside for a run, I looked at other options that are available to me. Right now my activities are taking my dog out for a long walk in the morning or going downstairs to the gym in my building and using the elliptical for 30 minutes at a time.

While jumping into the regular training routine both mentally and physically would be nice, it’s not in the cards at this time. I’ve taken a step back, assessed the situation at hand, and taking is slow is the best choice. You might be in a similar place with your health, so here are some options for those who might want to be more active with a chronic illness but need to focus on the basics.

Light Weights
Light Band Workouts
Walking In A Pool
Running In Place

These are just a few quick options off the top of my head. There are endless options to jumpstart the human body from being inactive, to active. You don’t have to go it alone also. Countless others including me are in a similar place.

Are you a member of a forum or Facebook group for your illness? Post there and ask for an accountability partner who might want to take on a similar journey as you. The support of someone else who can connect on the same level will be a big motivator.

And of course, I’m here also. Feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. I am more than happy to chat with you and help you along your journey to being active again. I know you can do this because so many others with chronic illness have been in the same place, needed a jumpstart, and reached a place of better health with a balance of motivation and patience.

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