Let me tell you, bringing back an exercise regime after such a long journey with chronic illness is sought with so much fear and anxiety. But, if I want to have the life that is filled with effervescent energy and clean health, I need to be starting again with rebuilding inner & outer health. So, i have got to do this properly and appropriately. I think bringing an exercise regime will help my body to heal faster physically and allow me to feel so much better mentally, thus continuing to move forward with my dreams for the future. But, thinking about this new journey, I also know how important it is to know the limitations that I have as it’s been a very long time since I’ve had fitness incorporated into my everyday. By increasing my activity slowly and with fierce patience, I hope I will be going to avoid injury and get back to a optimum state of health and fitness. Also this new regime will be done by working with my many doctors and rehabilitation specialists particularly my OT (occupational therapist) , NeuroPhysio and my yoga mentors.
So where do I begin in making my plan;
- First and foremost my steps to increasing physical therapy is by continual consultations with my doctors, therapists and mentors. The best thing i can do, as I start this exercise plan after being sick for so long is to talk continuously with my team of health professionals as a balancing tool of advocacy.
- The next point of call and important factors to remember are to recognise symptoms before and after any exercise I do. Knowing when to keep going or when to stop and seek attention is one action that most causes me some anxiety, but I also know that the thoughts are there because I haven’t done this in a long while.
Acknowledging that I am starting over is vital and no matter how healthy I was before becoming sick , this journey has taken a toll on my body. My bones, muscles and joints are all weaker than before and my stamina and endurance is much lower. Reminder to self – this is normal! Keep telling myself that I am starting over, like it’s my first ever time exercising. I think preparing myself mentally to start slow, will allow myself to increase my activity more and more overtime and will ensure my patience stays strong. I can and I will get fit, it is just going to take time.
One major thing I must remember is that my immune system has been compromised from my many complex conditions, so ensuring I can heal and overcome my illnesses in total means I cannot overwork my body. I know when I overwork myself, I feel unwell for at least the next day or maybe more.
In order for me to be successful with this regime, I need to plan ahead with making goals;
- I will make my goals each week and write them down, so I will be more likely to achieve them – accountability is everything!
- I will write down my main goal, and then add smaller goals for one week, only, increasing to two weeks and a month as I progress.
- I need to remember to be realistic and specific in my goals.
- After each exercise session I will write down my accomplishments as a marker to see how far I am moving forward.
Most of all I, need to stay motivated by working to my weekly goals and exercise plans. Because this is a new journey in a while, there are going to be challenging times so working with my team will help me find a success.
So let me begin now by listening to my body. From yoga to cardio, if I can only exercise for 30 minutes each time, because I am feeling exhausted, that’s okay! Be proud of what I achieve in that session. The most important goal for me, is to be always slightly outside of my comfort zone, without being in pain or having symptoms return. I’ve been ill for a long time, so even walking is a challenge, but with the help of my walker I will progress. I am in a position now, where I can begin. So I am starting small, even getting up to check the mailbox or a lap of the clothesline is a session. Then each day I will slowly and gradually increase the cardio and strength activity using the exercises mapped out by my neurophysio and remembering to incorporate mindfulness with yoga and meditation into each day.
I hope, if you are reading this I may have inspired you to think about starting or restarting a fitness regime after a long journey with illness. If you are able to start, believe me you will not regret the decision as despite the challenges it empowers and awakens mind and body and brings a new level of healing. Just, please make sure you have a wonderful team around you.
Also remember I am on social media, and I would love for you to come and say hi on any of these channels;
Healing and healthy hugs to you all,
“Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”