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Movement

Movement and chronic illness

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When you have a Chronic illness you may find it a struggle just getting out of bed in the morning, climbing the stairs or standing up to cook a meal – let alone thinking about adding exercise into your life. So, change your way of thinking. Instead of using the word EXERCISE – use the word MOVEMENT instead.

Think about how you can add MOVEMENT into your routine. Now you’ve changed your perspective you can realise that climbing the stairs is your movement for the day or walking around the kitchen cooking dinner is your way of getting your body moving. Feel proud of whatever movement you have managed to do that day and who knows, maybe tomorrow it’ll be a little easier to climb the stairs.

Most importantly if you have a fatigue-related illness, you must remember your limitations and never push yourself too hard. There is no benefit to trying to run 5 kilometres one day and then crashing for the rest of the week.

Top Tips

  1. Avoid extremes of movement such as hot yoga, running or spending all day on your feet.
  2. Try gentle movement such as Tai Chi Qi Gong or yoga stretches, many of which can be done from your bed or a chair, and can be done on a daily basis, indoors or outside.
  3. Build up slowly with movement – this may take weeks, months or even years and a lot of patience, but don’t rush. This will avoid a boom and bust situation.
  4. Try gentle movement such as Tai Chi Qi Gong or yoga stretches, many of which can be done from your bed or a chair, and can be done on a daily basis, indoors or outside.
  5. Pace yourself with movement. Stop regularly and rest and relax to restore equilibrium before moving again.
  6. Try to move outside as much as possible to gain the benefits of Vitamin D, fresh air and the uplifting effects of nature. A short stroll, a few yoga stretches on the lawn or pottering in the garden are all good forms of movement.

The good news is that any movement will be beneficial to you; to strengthen your bones, build stamina, mop up excess circulating blood glucose, to stretch and tone muscles, to improve your mood, to boost your immune system, reduce inflammation, regulate hormonal function, improve blood pressure amongst others.

So, keep trying to move and remember to always be proud of what you have achieved. Climbing the stairs for you might be like climbing Everest for someone else, so it’s an achievement to celebrate.


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