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Starting your fitness journey with chronic illness isn’t easy but your body will thank you once you do. While physical activity is often recommended as a preventative measure, researchers discovered that regular exercise is an effective treatment for 26 chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, diabetes, and depression. The study revealed that physical activity could lower your blood pressure, improve mobility, reduce the risk of hospitalization, and manage symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

But if you want to reap all the benefits mentioned above, taking the proper steps toward achieving your fitness goals is essential. Start your fitness journey off the right foot through these strategies:

Identify your goals for your specific fitness journey.

Your personal goals will set the tone for your entire fitness journey. While they can motivate you to stand up from the couch and get moving, they are also crucial in helping you discover the right exercises for your unique needs.

For example, people struggling with endometriosis can start their fitness journey to manage pain, reduce inflammation, and encourage hormonal balance. In this instance, strength training is beneficial because it stimulates anti-inflammatory chemicals and controls estrogen levels in the body. Setting goals at the start can help you meet your health needs and help you maintain focus throughout your fitness journey.

woman on her fitness journey doing squats in her living room

Discuss your routine with an exercise physiologist

Once you’ve identified your goals to reach your targets, you’ll need to ensure that you have a mix between endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises in your routine. You can discuss your fitness program with an exercise physiologist to ensure you get the best possible results.

Exercise physiologists can provide you with expert advice to get the best results. They help with aspects such as recovery, which is vitally important when considering acute and chronic illnesses, as they can prescribe programs based on one’s health status and needs. Most exercise physiologists are also certified in essential life support, advanced life support, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, so they can quickly respond in case of any emergency. Through their expertise, you can ensure that you can conquer your fitness goals without compromising your health and safety.

Start slow with your exercise regimen.

Once your exercise routine gets the green light, giving your all to reap the benefits as soon as possible can be tempting. But since you’re just starting, it’s essential to consider your body by easing into the process. And again, this is where your exercise physiologist comes into play, as they will recommend a program that gets harder over time.

The American Heart Association warns that inactive individuals are at high risk of experiencing cardiac events if they perform rigorous physical activities without the proper build-up. Instead, the association recommends starting a low-intensity exercise program before slowly transitioning to moderate to vigorous physical activities. You should also do warm-ups and cool-downs to manage your heart rate accordingly. This is another aspect that an exercise physiologist can guide you on, creating a plan designed specifically for your needs.

woman on her fitness journey doing yoga in her living room

Consult your physician about alarming symptoms

Cardiac events aren’t the only hazards that you should look out for. Exercise programs can be physically demanding, so you’re likely to experience aches and pains all over your body. Thus, you must take note of these symptoms and consult your physician immediately if something gets out of hand.

It’s recommended that you call your physician once you witness signs of overtraining, even after one to two weeks of rest. Symptoms like missed periods, extreme fatigue, mood swings, soreness, and injuries are red flags that your physician must address. With their help, you can manage these hopefully temporary symptoms and get back on track with your exercise program.

It can be overwhelming to get fit and healthy, so you’ll need to prepare before you start. Fortunately, by prioritizing your health and safety, you can reap all the benefits of exercise without overworking your body as long as you receive the proper guidance.


content intended only for the use of By Gale Blake