Expert Advice: How to Overcome Obstacles to Exercising with Chronic Illness

Exercise with Chronic Illness

 

It’s hard to ignore the illustrious health benefits of exercising on a regular basis – it boosts your mood, helps you control your weight, promotes a good night’s sleep  and keeps your body strong and fit.

Even if you have a chronic disease, being physically active can improve your health and quality of life, by helping you manage your symptoms and giving you more energy to do your daily chores.

But for people with persisting health problems, there are many obstacles between them and a regular exercise routine – from pain, fatigue and debilitating symptoms to limited mobility and realistic fears of health setbacks.

That’s why I asked a few of the finest fitness experts: “What’s your best advice for overcoming these common barriers to physical activity when someone’s struggling with chronic illness?” 

 

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14 Ideas for a Comforting Care Package for a Sick Loved One (+ A Giveaway!)

Ideas for Care Package Giveaway

 

There’s nothing more uplifting than knowing someone is thinking of you when you’re terribly ill. All you want is a little comforting while you’re dealing with the physical pain and emotional turmoil of sickness.

That’s why sending a get-well care package to a sick loved one is a wonderful way to show you care and to wish them a speedy recovery.

And yet you might be stumped for inspiration on what to put in your gift basket. Of course that depends on your friend’s illness, circumstances and preferences in life, but packing both practical items to deal with the daily discomforts and entertaining goodies that offer an escape from the mind-numbing boredom will definitely brighten their day!

Have a look at these 14 ideas for creating a comforting care package for sick loved ones:

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A Love Letter to the Supporters of Chronically Ill Warriors Everywhere

 

Love Letter  

It’s a sad fact that in times of need you find out who your true friends are. Not everyone has the courage, strength and emotional intelligence to deal with difficult situations. Others want to help out, but they simply don’t know what to say or do.

The irony is that you don’t need grand gestures or eloquent speeches to show your love and compassion – they’re found in the tiny, wordless gestures of support and understanding.

When you’re diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness, the dynamics of your relationships inevitably change. Sometimes the person you want to turn to the most, suddenly stops calling you or slowly vanishes from your life when you’re no longer able to do fun things together. But other people might surprise you: the colleague who keeps checking in how you’re doing, the neighbour who offers to do your grocery shopping or drive you to the hospital.

Many articles have been written about the misconceptions and insensitive comments that sick people have to deal with. Although it’s important to address the constant frustrations and loneliness of chronically ill patients, today I want to celebrate all the lovely individuals who do get it – who understand what you’re going through, who stick around through it all, who never let you down. This is a gratitude note to the support squads of “spoonies” everywhere – and my friends and family in particular. 

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An Action Plan for Recovery: How to Bounce Back from Health Setbacks

 

Sunset Dutch seaside

It was inevitable.

There had been plenty of signs that I was slowly heading towards the ‘danger zone’: sleepless nights, inflamed joints and flare-ups of old symptoms. I was running on empty, but kept going. Sometimes you have to push beyond your limits in order to make significant progress on what matters in your life.

So it didn’t come as a surprise that after months of working intensely on a psychological study, launching this website and celebrating milestones in my friend’s lives, I was feeling completely worn out.

Optimistically, I’d figured that taking two weeks off to relax and catch up on sleep would help get my health back on track. Yeah… I should have known better. Instead, my body was thinking: “Oh good, I’m finally done? Time for some thorough restoration!”, leaving me feeling worse than before.

Dealing with health setbacks can be tough, even when you’ve been living with chronic illness for a long time. Sometimes, like in my case, it’s obvious what’s causing your flare-ups. Other times, it feels like a mysterious game of ‘two steps forward, one step back’ – one that you didn’t agree to play in the first place. But the question always remains: what can you do to slowly get back on your feet again?

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An Interview with Kaila Prins about Coping with Eating Disorders: “I see it as a challenge that I want to overcome every single day”

This is the first interview in a series about what it’s really like to cope with chronic illness every day. How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? Today Kaila Prins of In My Skinny Genes shares her story about living with an eating disorder and how blogging about it helped her heal. 

 

Kaila Prins

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a 26 (soon be 27–where did the time go?) year old Marketing Copywriter living in San Jose, CA.  I’m also a certified personal trainer, an exercise addict, and a recovering anorectic. I currently blog about disordered eating and exercise at inmyskinnygenes.com and run the Finding Our Hunger podcast. On the podcast, we talk to everyday people as well as “personalities” about their journey instead of the end point, and we share stories of working through issues of disordered eating, body image, identity, career goals, perfectionism, and building community in this strange, wonderful constantly-changing world.

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