Incorporating exercise with illness is something that I’m asked about all the time by my readers, and I have LOTS of experience with it, so that’s the topic I’m talking all about today!
I remember the days that I would wake up at 5:30am and hop on the elliptical in the office in my house, and then head to work for 10-12 hour days. I literally thought that was normal. I KNOW…I was also crazy back then! 😉
My fitness has evolved in so many different ways over the years, depending on where I’m at with my health. Years ago, the only time I stopped exercising was when I was literally forced to stop. Now, I’ve learned to stop and take it easy whenever my body is telling me that rest is what it needs.
After my last surgery in 2011, I waited a full 3 months until I went back to the gym. I started exercising again by simply walking the streets in my neighborhood. Over the next several weeks I worked my way up to walking my dogs to the hills behind my house. I remember walking to the top of the hill with both of my dogs and by the time I got to the top, I was completely out of breath. Back then just walking was a challenge.
We all start somewhere, and walking was where I started.
Over time, I worked my way up to taking yoga and Pilates classes at a local gym. I started adding in some weight lifting, which now looking back, was too much for my body given all that it was dealing with already. I often learn things the hard way. 😉
Back then, I was dealing with serious adrenal issues, but I still felt this internal pressure to push myself, thinking that pushing myself would somehow make me healthier. For me, I’ve found the opposite to be true. Again, I learned this the hard way!
We live in a society that pushes the “hustle” and doing more seems to be looked up to. No wonder so many people are so sick. Most of us aren’t taught to take care of ourselves, which is really what should happen before anything else.
From my own experience, I’ve found that REST is actually what pays off big time, especially when your body is working extra hard to recover from an illness/surgery/etc.
I completely understand that resting doesn’t always feel easy. It took me YEARS to learn this lesson, but when I finally did, that’s when everything changed.
I finally let my body rest, and that’s when I took my healing to a much deeper level.
It’s because I dedicated the time to rest and healing my body that I’m able to do the intense workouts that I do now.
The key for me has been to find an exercise routine that I love to do, and that my body loves as well.
I’m a big believer that exercise of any kind should leave you feeling energized, not exhausted. If you do feel worn down after working out, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate what you’re doing.
We’re all totally unique, and what works for my body may be completely different from what works for yours. That’s why it’s so important to listen to YOUR body, not what anyone else is telling you what you “should” do.
Pushing yourself just to “get that workout in,” will rarely pay off. After all, life is a journey, and taking the time to take care of yourself both mentally and physically will pay off big time!
Incorporating Exercise With Illness