Top 5 Dos and 3 Don’ts for Working Out with a Chronic Illness
By: Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS
Photo Credit: Boomer Nutrition
Exercise for people living with a chronic disease is important because appropriate exercise can reduce pain, build strength, lower blood sugar, reduce joint stiffness and provide other important health benefits.
It’s always advisable to talk with your doctor or healthcare professional before starting or changing any exercise or diet routine, especially when you have a chronic disease (such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, arthritis and joint/back pain).
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Talk with your doctor before starting or changing any exercise routine (i.e. any precautions to take, what types of exercises, for how long and at what level of intensity).
- Start slow and increase intensity (if you haven’t been active for a while, start slowly and build up a little at a time. Remember – something is better than nothing.
- Exercising can be tough and staying motivated can be tougher, so consider exercising with a friend, getting a personal trainer, or joining a gym.
- Listen to your body – struggling with a chronic disease and trying to deal with setbacks or injuries is a real concern; don’t push yourself too hard or beyond what you’re comfortable with – no pain, no gain doesn’t apply to us with chronic disease.
- Ask questions – of your doctor, trainer, therapist or other experienced healthcare professional to prevent any problems and issues that you may not be aware of.
Some “Don’t” tips:
- Don’t exercise when it’s very cold or very hot outside. Try walking indoors at a mall or working out at a gym instead.
- Don’t hold your breath when doing push-ups, sit-ups or heavy lifting exercises.
- Don’t exercise when your chronic disease is acting up or not under control unless your doctor approves.
And finally, make sure you eat healthy. Try one of these delicious Healthy Meals Supreme options to help you with this goal.
* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.