Staying fit is for everyone and we all know how important it is to keep our body and mind fit.
Although with a chronic illness, fitness becomes a big deal. Perhaps because of the chronic fatigue or fear of falling into chronic pain.
These strategies have helped me over the years, and I can say that with all sense of truthfulness.
As a young boy, I hated sports and exercise. They made me feel nausea, I would feel so weak and then sometimes my eyes turns.
So, for a very long time I was physically inactive until I grew older and learnt how to stay fit without hurting myself.
So, if you live with a chronic disorder like sickle cell disorder, then here are eight strategies to staying fit.
1) Have a fitness goal
This is very important if you want to stay fit in the long run. Having a smart and short term goal will keep you inspired and make you healthier.
Some examples of a fitness goal includes improving your mobility, improving your strength, losing weight or gaining weight or even just wanting to improve your health.
Find a fitness goal that is smart and write it down on paper and work your way to achieving it.
2) Have a healthy meal before work out
I remembered that 80% of the times I engaged in sports or exercise back then, I either only took tea or nothing.
Always eat something healthy before beginning a workout, I learnt that the hard way.
For instance, eating bananas before work out will provide you energy and help you through that session.
3) Find a way to make working out fun
The only way to always look forward to working out is by adding spice. Play some good music as you talk a walk, or watch your favorite TV show as you do your push ups.
I workout at home, so most of the time I watch TV while working out. It is more fun and energetic.
Just find something that you love doing and schedule it to work out period, and have fun.
4) Work with a trainer (If possible)
It is important to work with a fitness trainer or instructor to avoid pain or any other stories.
Have someone who is a professional and understands that your illness and your body.
5) Take rests
I know you want to push yourself, that’s a common phrase for people working out.
But you have to know when not to push, when to take that rest or abort the whole mission for that day.
Take rests, it is very important and take it without guilt.
6) Try other fitness techniques
Spending hours in the gym is not the only way to stay fit. Try whatever fitness techniques that is fun for you.
For instance, try dancing or swimming, as long as it engages your body and muscle.
7) Go at your own pace
Always remember that you are in competition with nobody. You are doing this to stay fit for yourself and become more healthy.
So, go at your own pace. Don’t rush yourself and keep in mind that slow progress is far better than no progress.
8) Embrace healthy eating
For a well toned and fit physical appearance, nutrition is important. Take food as your medicine.
Healthy eating will contain the proper nutrient required for your fitness goal, so make sure your goal is clear.
For example, my fitness goal is to gain muscle. Then my nutrition will include high calorie food, large amount of protein and also fruits and veggies.
You might also like;
- Seven sickle cell and fitness common misconception
- Avascular necrosis pain: Ease pain with exercise
- 4 types of exercise and tips for sickle cell warriors
Research shows that people a chronic illness, sickle cell disorder for example, prefers not to engage in any form of physical activity.
Majority because of chronic fatigue and fear of falling ill or chronic pain.
This is understandable, but I still believe that fitness does less harm to us and more good and I encourage you to beat the odds and stay fit. You can read this article by Joanna Tierno.
Here’s the breakdown again
Eight smart strategies to staying fit with a chronic illness
- Have a fitness goal
- Have a healthy meal before work out
- Find a way to make workout fun
- Work with a trainer
- Take rests
- Try other fitness techniques
- Go at your own pace
- Embrace healthy eating
What is your favorite way of staying fit. Please share, I would love to hear your thoughts.