Fitness and chronic illness

The first and most important rule of getting fitter when you have a chronic illness is don’t kill yourself. If you think I am being dramatic, I am not. Push too hard and you will end up in hospital or far, far worse. Getting fit is going to be slow but you should be able to achieve it.

Firstly check with you medical professionals and find out what is safe for you to do. In my experience they weren’t much help so I did a lot of research on my medical condition particularly focusing on websites from top medical centres. I know your GP complains about people researching the internet but I wouldn’t have to if they did it themselves.

Next is very important. Listen to your body. Those odd feelings you get may not be insignificant. Breathlessness is never a good sign. If you suffer from a chronic illness that may be life threatening take it very seriously. We are not indestructible and I have had friends who thought they were and died. Not trying to scare you but I do want you around to read a few more articles.

A few years ago I was driving up a hill when I saw a man sitting on a low fence. He did not look well and I recognised the symptoms (although they were not what I suffered from) so I pulled over and gave him a lift home. He had suffered a heart attack and was told to exercise but instead of walking on the flat he chose a very steep hill. If he continued he might have died.
In my opinion the best way to get fitter if you suffer a chronic illness is walking. Start with a short distance and try to keep your breathing normal. As you get fitter you can pick up the pace or go further and you will notice you are breathing heavier. Forget about jogging or running just walk. Walking is one of the most underestimated forms of exercise there is.
Try to walk with a friend or where there are others walking as well and always have your mobile phone with you. Hopefully this helps you to get fitter and stay safe.


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