Saturday, August 22, 2015

Working out with a Chronic Illness

         Working out with a chronic illness is not easy. Life with a chronic illness isn't easy, but that's a post for another day.  Every workout session I am striving to become stronger than my illness. My goal with each workout is to build muscles and push myself but not over do it, Over doing it could result in an inability to workout for a week or two, so pushing myself too far would be silly because working out twice a month isn't really ideal for building muscle.

        My work outs involve A LOT of rest. I usually work out in my bedroom or in the living room. I will do a few sets and then I will rest in bed or on couch for a few minutes to 15 minutes. I listen to my body. I feel that is the most important thing.

       Taking my medication is another important part of my work outs. If I don't take my medication, I can't work out. I have tried for years in the past to build strength and endurance, but it was never possible. I was never on a medication that improved my symptoms so that I could work out. If I tried to work out in the past I would become much sicker and fear a trip to the ER was in my future. Thanks to my new medication that is no longer a few. I don't feel great after my work outs but that is expected with my health issues.

       Staying hydrated is another key component to having a successful session. My symptoms are easily exaggerated when I do not have enough fluids. On the same note, having a fan near helps me as well. Overheating is the quickest way to end my work out session.

       Last but definitely not least is commitment. Working out with a chronic illness can be a huge commitment and require a lot of dedication. I know that after I work out my body is done for a while. I have to lay down and rest and recover. I work out as often as I can but if there are days I know I want to do something special with loved ones I will take that day off and sometimes the day before. While most of my day is spent recovering from a short workout, it is worth it to me. I am dedicated to the process. I am unable to do much due to my health but I believe if I work hard and build muscle I may be able to live a closer to normal life.

       Along with the time commitment is the commitment to eating right. I am currently counting macros (IIFYM). I want to make sure that I am properly fueling myself for my work outs and giving my body what it needs to recover and build muscle. If I don't eat enough or enough of the right foods I won't feel any better nor will I see the results I am after.

Do you have a chronic illness? What is your experience with working out?

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