Regular exercise plays a crucial role in our lives and can work wonders to elevate our mood, maintain a healthy weight, and keep our bodies fit and strong. Exercise can be even more important for people dealing with chronic illness. Exercise could help them curb some of the symptoms, boost energy levels, and improve their overall quality of life. However, people who have to live with chronic illness often have days when the symptoms are just too much to bear, which makes any type of physical activity impossible. Or they may start losing motivation and increasingly becoming sedentary, which could make matters even worse. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips that will help you maintain an active lifestyle with chronic illness.
Speak with Your Doctor First
The first thing you should do is consult your doctor and listen to their recommendations. They’ll be able to give you advice on what type of physical activity would be safe for you and what you should avoid. They’ll also be able to give you guidelines on intensity levels, how many times you should exercise per week, and some precautions you should take as well.
For instance, they might suggest that you invest in a medical alert system whenever you’re out doing exercise. Medical alert systems will allow you to get in contact with a medical professional fast and will often have GPS detection that will allow them to locate you wherever you are. You can check out this page to check out some of the best medical alert devices to use in 2019.
Take your Medication into Consideration
You also have to take a close look at your medication before you start performing any kind of exercise. Sometimes, your medication will prohibit you from doing exercise because of some of the side effects. For instance, some medication might make you light-headed or dizzy, which could be problematic. So, look over your medication with your doctor to see if exercise should be avoided, or if they can find an alternative.
Get Checked Out
If you were sedentary for a long time or never really worked out your entire life, it would be wise to go through a medical exam first. You should have a stress test conducted prior to starting any type of aerobic program. If you start experiencing lingering pain or signs of injury after starting a workout routine, it would be wise to visit a health care practitioner right away to see if you might need any time off.
The most important thing to do if you don’t want to shock your system is to start slow. This is especially important if you’re dealing with severe chronic illness. You could start with gentle stretching exercises, walking slowly, or get a mini-trampoline and do some light jumping. You could also do low-stress strength training by lifting small weights too.
Pick Sports that won’t Exacerbate your Symptoms
Some activities will be worse for you than others depending on your condition, and you should avoid exercises that could trigger flare-ups at all costs. For instance, if you suffer from chronic asthma, then exercises like basketball or tennis are not recommended. If you’re suffering from chronic lower back pain, you should consider opting for exercises that will be easier on your back like swimming or light walking.
Staying active when you have to deal with chronic illness is never easy, but could have tons of benefits. Make sure that you take the proper precautions to reduce the chances for incidents, and make sure that you don’t go over your limit for your own safety.