Everyone needs to exercise. It is crucial for any weight loss program, for dropping body fat, and to build or maintain muscle mass.
But what if you have a physical condition?
Those with medical conditions tend to be less active than the general population, and it is not their fault!
Living with a medical condition is challenging and the thought of adding exercise can make it even more so. For this reason, seeking a fitness professional is crucial to ease into a new lifestyle.
First off, let’s start with HOW exercise can help:
Heart Disease – Exercise can strengthen the heart, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and increase blood flow. All are excellent outcomes, regardless of if there is a medical condition as well.
Diabetes – Weight loss is one of the best ways to prevent or control diabetes. Regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and keep blood sugar in check.
Obesity – It is no secret that there is a growing epidemic of obesity. Not only will exercise help reduce body fat, but it can also stimulate muscle mass and improve the body’s ability to burn calories. Controlling weight is crucial to keep risks for many other diseases low.
Osteoporosis – Did you know that you can stimulate bone growth? That’s right, you can make your body grow more bone. This is of the utmost importance to those who have decreasing bone density.
Improve Psyche – Arguably one of the best benefits, exercise releases endorphins that will elevate your mood. Though only temporary, regular endorphin boosts can help cope with stress, depression, and anxiety.
General Prevention and Maintenance – Exercise can aide in preserving existing functionality and prevent worsening conditions. While 100% improvement is not likely, conditions can be managed.
The Bottom line? Regardless of the physical disability, staying active is necessary. Declining internal health will make any external limitation worse.
Before starting an exercise routine, follow these guidelines:
Inform your Primary Care Physician.
Getting the “go ahead” from a doctor is crucial. They understand your condition, and can offer guidance in terms of what to avoid.
Make sure there are no potential issues that can come up with medications you are currently taking.
Get Professional Help.
The key is to find the right exercise for your situation. This is where a fitness professional will be valuable. They can tailor exercise programs specific to your condition.
Learn to Listen to Your Body.
You are capable of more than you think, but start slow and gradually build up strength, endurance, and flexibility. Starting too intensely can lead to issues early on. This is something you want to continue for the rest of your life and continually improve. If you feel pain, nausea, dizziness, or anxiety – dial it back.
With guidance, we know for a fact that you can feel better. Take for example Tom Spooner, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that affects the Central Nervous System.
Here is his story in his own words:
The take away? Exercise helps you feel and look better.
Until you attempt a change, you will never know what you are capable of – but the important thing is to do it safely!