Category Archives: Exercising with chronic conditions
Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. You can still exercise even if you have a health condition like heart disease, arthritis, chronic pain, high blood pressure, or diabetes. In fact, physical activity may help.
We know that getting older can take its toll on your muscles and joints, in a time such as 2021 when getting out might be harder than expected, having a quick, low impact exercise session is perfect for getting yourself moving. Using equipment available on our website, here are 3 low impact movements you can do at home with an exercise ball.
1. Sit ups
As someone that has never been great at sit ups, using an exercise ball to provide that extra bounce and support underneath your back can really help you to do a few more sit ups than just one on the ground. Here is an image showing how to position yourself properly and maintain a good sit up with balancing on the exercise ball.
You can also try this type of movement when you are laid in bed, and instead of trying to do a full sit up just trying lifting slightly and pushing your hands forward. From there only lift your body a little until you feel your core tighten and hold for 5 seconds, longer if you can, but any hold is good. Doing this each day will drastically improve your overall core and back strength and support you even if you’re just sitting around.
2. Hip thrust
This movement is great for increasing motion in your hips and ultimately strengthening the bottom of your back. Along with the sit ups, the hip thrust movement in great for engaging your core, strengthening your back and increasing mobility.
To do this movement correctly, position your shoulder blades on the middle of the ball and ensure you have your balance. If you can’t balance properly right away, use a sofa or a chair to support you while getting into position. From the position, with or without an added weight, if you slowly lift your hips from the lower position and push your hips up until your legs are straight across. Hold the position for at least 5 seconds and slowly lower. It might not seem like it’s doing much but every little move you make and hold is gradually adding to your internal strength, and by doing so it is increasing your overall fitness.
You can also try this similar movement, in which you stay in the raised hip position and roll the ball underneath your body and roll back again to work your hamstrings.
3. Upper body raises
Okay, while I don’t know the actual term for this exercise movement it is most simply like a reverse sit up. For example, while the first sit up movement is raising your body chest first to your knees, this second movement is raising your back. Lay your stomach on the ball with your legs straight behind you, hands on your head and raise your body up until you’re facing forward.
As broad a range that chronic illnesses can be, and with long term conditions such asthma and diabetes as the highest rates amongst young people it can be difficult to find any motivation to exercise.
Despite young people dealing with these long term conditions and navigating poor mental health because of them, and while we know a chronic illness might never go away, we can definitely try to offset some of the symptoms.
Here’s 3 things you can try:
1. Any movement is better than nothing
We all know it can be difficult to wanna stop watching Netflix and actually go and exercise but navigating this fitness lifestyle with a chronic illness is hard. But even just getting up after one episode, putting on a good song and dancing wildly for those 3 minutes is better than a binge on Netflix. Trust me.
Even if your chronic illness keeps you from dancing energetically for those minutes, you can try walking up and down stairs a few times at a quicker pace than you usually do. It might seem simple, but getting your heart pumping, blood circulating and your body moving really does make a simple difference.
2. Stretching is surprisingly helpful
Stretching, yoga, pilates… call it what you want but stretching and flexing your body is crucial. Maybe you can’t touch your toes and that’s okay!
But if you make it your goal for the next 30 days, start by placing your hands on top of your knees. Then, try a little further and place your hands just under your knees, then halfway down your shins… see where I’m going? Even if it is the slightest movement each day and just a tiny bit further than the last it’s going to help blood flow around your body, loosen up your muscles and joints and allow your body to adjust.
If stretching is good enough for cats, you can do it too!
3. Fresh air is your friend
While it might seem trivial that breathing can help anything, it really can wake you up to your surroundings, internally and externally. It could be standing on your garden, closing your eyes and breathing in until your chest puffs up or even just opening a window. The action of letting your space be freed up from the stuffy feeling of being unwell or trapped in a room can momentarily stop you in your tracks.
A few breathing exercises you can try with this fresh air is holding for 4 seconds, inhale for 8, hold for 4 and exhaling for 8. It can take a minute to get used to but doing this for five minutes regulates your breathing intake and the deeper your breaths, the better your blood flow. So, next time you take your dog for a walk, or open the window to let the sun in, or even when you’re struggling with pain from your illness just try focussing on your breathing for five minutes and see how you feel.
Are you suffering from a chronic disease? Are you hitting the age of 50+ and wondering about chronic diseases and how to manage them with exercise? Well, now more than ever, the answers to the below FAQ on chronic disease & exercise is relevant due to the alarming report that chronic diseases are responsible for almost 70% of all deaths globally.
1. What is a Chronic Disease?
The medical community is yet to agree on a single definition for the term “Chronic Disease” as there exists a variety of definitions. The differences depend on the research data and the lead authors. Thus, According to Wikipedia, a chronic disease is
“A human health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with time”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also defined it as
“Diseases that are of long duration and generally slow in progression and are not passed from person to person”
From the above, we can safely conclude that it is a non-communicable health condition that persists for over 3 months and can be managed with medicine and exercise.
2. Is diabetes a chronic disease?
Irrespective of which lens you are viewing a chronic disease list from, you are certain to find diabetes. The Centres for Disease and Prevention (CDC), Wikipedia, other medical practitioners and researchers have all listed diabetes as a chronic disease.
3. Is depression a chronic disease?
Yes! Depression is listed on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS.gov) extensive chronic diseases list.
4. What are the top ten chronic diseases?
According to a reputable health stakeholder, the below are not just the top ten chronic diseases in recent times but also, the most expensive, causing havoc to patient’s finances.
Smoking-Related Health Issues
Alchohol-Related Health Issues
5. How can exercising help manage chronic disease?
Researchers have provided overwhelming evidence indicating a lack of exercise as the primary factor underlying all chronic diseases. As a believer of the adage, “it’s better late than never”, undertaking regular mild exercises from the minute one becomes self-aware will enable patients to overcome fatigue (common complaints made by patients with chronic diseases) and to a large extent improve the health condition. Wondering how? Check this and that out.
6. Four types of exercises to manage chronic diseases
It is paramount to note that although exercising is a wonderful way of staying young and healthy, not all forms of exercises are advised. There are specific types of exercises that are proven to have a better effect on managing chronic diseases. They are categorised into 4 key areas as illustrated below.
Endurance exercises keep your heart alive as demonstrated in the video. Grab our treadmills and bikes to undertake your endurance exercises.
Stronger muscles make everyday activities easier and feel lighter. Watch the video on how to achieve this.
Balance exercises help prevent falls, a common problem in older adults that can have serious consequences. These exercises include standing on one foot, “tai chi” and balance walking.
As you grow older, certain things become much more difficult to do. Perform the above exercises, then you will have one less thing to worry about.
In summary, exercising regularly is a wonder drug you need to help manage and prevent chronic diseases.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SEX DRIVE AND PERFORMANCE THROUGH EXERCISE
If you want to improve your sexual drive/libido, physical and sexual performance, the cheapest and healthiest way is through physical exercise. The result is usually fast with a noticeable improvement within the first two to three 30 minutes of physical exercise sessions.Whether you are a gym or yoga person any exercise is good for your health, sex drive and performance included.Researchers and medical experts have found a strong correlation between physical exercise and improved sexual performance and an increase in libido.
A strong pelvic floor enhances rigidity during erections and helps keep blood from leaving the penis by pressing on a key vein. In a British trial, three months of twice-daily sets of Kegel exercises (which strengthen these muscles), combined with biofeedback and advice on lifestyle changes — quitting smoking, losing weight, limiting alcohol — worked far better than just advice on lifestyle changes.
Top 7 Exercises to Improve Sexual Performance and Boost Libido
Testosterone is related to sexual longing and energy. Science proposes lifting weights improves sex drive by urging your body to deliver more testosterone. Since sound testosterone levels are related to sexual craving, doing practices that can expand testosterone may likewise amp up your drive.
On the off chance that you as of now do some kind of solidarity preparing as a component of your wellness normal, some minor changes might be all you require to guarantee you’re boosting your testosterone-creating potential. Specialists recommend the accompanying three hints to benefit from your weight lifting meeting:
Working all the significant muscle gatherings, particularly your legs (the biggest in the body)
Doing fewer reps with heavier weights
Shortening your rest time between sets
In all honesty, running could give you a lift in the room. In addition to the fact that running improves your self-perception and consequently certainty, you’ll additionally have improved energy levels. Moreover, research by the Endocrine Society found that running can prompt an expansion in testosterone in men, just as diminishing occurrences of hypogonadism, a condition which can prompt erectile brokenness and a brought down drive. Loss of stomach fat through running can likewise imply that the bloodstream to the penis is expanded.
Extreme cardio exercise
Extreme cardio exercise (HIIT) includes switching back and forth between going as hard as possible, at that point resting for a brief period. HIIT is perhaps the best fat-consuming exercise you can do, and it can likewise knock up your moxie.
Extraordinary cardiovascular exercise like HIIT is an incredible method to let out some pent-up frustration since it brings down levels of the pressure chemical cortisol in your body. Raised cortisol has been appeared to fundamentally decrease testosterone, so holding your pressure under control is vital for keeping a sound sex drive.
The number of American men doing yoga developed from 4 million out of 2012 to 10 million out of 2016. Why are folks out of nowhere so keen on yoga? Perhaps in light of the fact that they’re getting on to the numerous medical advantages this training gives—including improved sexual wellbeing.
Tantra yoga is the thoughtful most normally connected with sex (and Sting). With its attention on connecting with your body as well as associating with an accomplice, tantra yoga has a long history of utilization among couples hoping to zest things up in the room. But since all yoga includes extending and getting your energy streaming, any sort of yoga practice can possibly improve your charisma. It additionally assists with adaptability, which your partner(s) will probably appreciate.
Obviously, the associations between dance and sex don’t end there. The two exercises are useful for your wellbeing in an assortment of ways, regardless of whether it be getting your pulse up, offering an awesome detox subsequent to burning some calories, or delivering a surge of upbeat chemicals.
You can enlighten a great deal concerning an expected sweetheart from the manner in which they dance. As per an overview of 2,000 ladies by The Daily Mail, 80% said they encountered an immediate relationship between’s a fella’s presentation in the club and in the room. Furthermore, on the off chance that we are to accept all that we’ve found out about Prince, that is one situation where the relationship was surely well-suited.
Need to improve your perseverance, construct muscle, and get an incredible cardio exercise? Take a dip. Swimming is perhaps the most productive approach to improve general wellness, all without the mileage on your joints that comes from running and other high-sway exercises.
Maybe obviously, the sort of wellness that comes from swimming routinely can truly surrender you a leg in the room. In a Harvard investigation of 160 swimmers, members in their 60s announced sexual experiences similar to average, non-swimming individuals, in their 40s.
You may consider Kegels as an activity for ladies (in the event that you consider them by any means), however this pressing of your pubococcygeus (PC) muscles—the ones you use to stop the progression of pee mid-stream—can prompt better sexual perseverance and control.
How would you do a kegel workout? The initial step is to figure out your PC muscles by halting and beginning while you pee. Whenever you’ve recognized the impression of a kegel workout, you can do them any time. Firmly crush your PC muscles and hold for 10 seconds, at that point discharge for however many reps as you can oversee.
aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still.
do strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week.
do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week.
Before getting started, there may be a few things to think about
What time do you have available each day for physical activity?
What activity or activities do you enjoy? Picking something you enjoy can help ensure you stick with it.
Things to remember
Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. It’s no good running 5 miles the first day but then aching too much to exercise the rest of the week, you would be better going for a 10-minute run or walk each day.
Start as you mean to go on and remember to take rest days.
Top 3 Exercises
Walking is the easiest exercise anyone can do. Walking can be done almost anywhere and you can walk on your own, with friends or with pets.
“Spending 30 minutes of brisk walking, five times each week is a great way to increase your physical activity. You can even break this 30 minutes down into 10-minute sessions three times a day.”
Swimming helps takes the pressure off your joints while stretching and relaxing your muscles.
“To get the most benefit from swimming, we recommend that you swim at least three times a week for at least ten minutes and gradually increase the length of the workout.”
Yoga helps to reduce stress levels while building strength and improving your balance and flexibility.
If you are not ready or are unable to do any of the above at first, then activities such as housework and gardening can also be a good workout. Any exercise is better than none and once you have built up strength, you can try new exercises.
Information on glucose levels and weight management can be found here.
For women, this subject is up there with the list of taboos. Its a topic that many women may avoid due to feeling uncomfortable. Its invasive and maybe, a little too personal. But if we don’t talk about it and raise the profile of it, how many women will suffer without seeking medical treatment and carry on living a reduced quality of life thinking its just ‘that time of the month’?
What is Endometriosis?
March is Endometriosis month and for those of you unfamiliar with the disorder, it affects 1 in 10 women. It can be very painful as the tissue, which would normally line the inside of the Uterus, grows on other parts of your body. Imagine heavy period cramps…all over your body, ouch! It is a chronic disease that can cause infertility as well as life threating kidney and liver problems as tissue around these organs fuse together.
At the moment, around 1.5 million women are living with this condition, however it is certain that there are many more women out there who are undiagnosed due to the lack of research there is and how little it is recognised and spoken about.
What are the symptoms?
Pain during sex
Painful bowel movements
Painful, heavy, irregular periods
How can I manage it?
As of now, there is no cure, however here are ways to ease the discomfort of Endometriosis through exercise and nutrition:
Limiting saturated fats through plant based or a lean meat diet can help to ease flare ups
Eating more Omega 3 rich foods such as oily fish, walnuts or seeds.
Exercise is also a great way to help manage flare ups and its recommended that 60 minutes daily, of low impact exercise will help to relive pain and fatigue. Exercise also lowers Estrogen levels. Lowering Estrogen levels may help improve symptoms.
Yoga is a low intensity exercise that stretches out the muscles, opens up the pelvis and relives pain as well as lower abdominal and pelvic floor exercises.
Swimming can help to discourage Endo flare ups as it is worth mentioning, not moving around can worsen the pain. Swimming can offer low impact cardio as well as strength training at the same time.
The MELT method has also been designed to tackle chronic diseases and provides a self treatment method that alleviates stresses and strains, making the pain more manageable. It gives you treatment techniques that you can do at home, in sequence and support you in leading a healthy life.
It can be difficult to get a diagnosis for Endometriosis and will require surgery via a laparoscopy. There is an average of 7.5 years before receiving a diagnosis, therefore it is important that if you suffer from any of the symptoms, you book an appointment with your GP straight away and use the nutrition and exercise tips in this blog to elevate as much of the pain as you can in the meantime.
To encourage women to use exercise as a form of treatment, Endometriosis UK are trying to spread awareness and end the stigma by motivating people to take part in a 1 in 10 challenge. They also aim for more people to talk about the disease, creating a community for women alike to come together, get advice and share their experiences.
Click the link to take part and read more about how you can #Endothestigma.
Yoga is one of the oldest physical exercises in the “Oriental”. It originally originated in India 5000 years ago and is now popular all over the world. Yoga is not only the exclusive choice for middle-aged people, but also more and more young and old people join the ranks of yoga practice. A disease-free body, a violence-free society, a confusion-free mind, a inhibition-free intellect, a trauma-free memory, a sorrow-free soul and a quiver-free breath is the impact that Yoga can make on your life.
Yoga is not only exclusive to middle-aged people
A young girl said: “I tried Pilates, NTC, HIIT, madness and other methods. This is the most effective exercise training on the market for weight loss and shaping. After being exposed to yoga, I felt unprecedented strength. I completely changed Now, this change is not only physically, but also mentally.” However, some elderly people think that yoga is only suitable for young people or people with better flexibility. In fact, yoga is suitable for people of all ages and physical levels. The latest research shows that yoga is especially helpful for people over 60 years old and can improve their flexibility and balance.
Thousands of years ago, in India a long time ago, in order to enter the highest state of the unity of nature and man, eminent monks often lived in secluded forests and meditated. After living in a simple life for a long time, the eminent monks realized many natural yoga aesthetic principles from observing living things, and then verified the living principles of living things to humans, and gradually sensed the subtle changes inside the body, so humans understood Dialogue with your own body, so as to know how to explore your own body, begin to maintain and regulate health, as well as the healing instinct for disease and pain. Thousands of years of research have been summed up, and a set of theoretically complete and practical body-building and fitness system has been gradually developed. This is yoga.
Systemic physical improvement
There are various benefits of practicing yoga, including accelerating the body’s metabolism, removing waste from the body, and helping the body to repair. Yoga can enhance body strength and body elasticity, so that the body’s limbs develop in a balanced manner. Yoga can also prevent and treat various physical and mental diseases: back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, headache, joint pain, insomnia, digestive disorders, dysmenorrhea, hair loss, etc. Yoga can regulate the whole body system, improve blood circulation, promote endocrine balance, reduce stress and nourish the heart, release the body and mind, and achieve the purpose of self-cultivation. Other benefits of yoga include improving immunity, concentration, increasing vitality, and improving vision and hearing, and so on.
With the increase of age, the quality of muscles is deteriorating day by day. The charm of yoga is that even an ordinary Hatha yoga practice can relieve the practitioner’s muscle pressure and increase muscle resilience. Downward dog pose, plank pose, warrior 1 pose, and warrior 2 pose are particularly suitable for yoga beginners, and they have a good effect on improving strength. While practicing yoga, we need to replenish moisture appropriately, so a beautiful water bottle may bring you a good mood all day long.
Some elderly people feel lonely and lonely. Joining a yoga class can broaden the social circle of the elderly and get to know more friends. In addition, yoga is recognized as an “emotional booster.” Heart-opening yoga poses and back bending poses like cobra pose, boat pose, and bridge pose have been proven to increase the positive emotions of patients with depression. Practicing yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation can help improve mood, bring more positive energy, and reduce anxiety.
Relax and reduce stress
We can use the exercise and relaxation of yoga to allow us to focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles of the body. When our body and mind are in a state of complete relaxation and focus on stretching the limbs, we can release negative emotions and begin to have Positive emotions enable us to achieve a state of mind of “combining with nature”.
Anti-aging is no longer a topic for middle-aged and elderly people. More and more young people are joining this topic. Yoga is the exercise that can achieve this effect. Why can yoga be anti-aging? Because long-term yoga practice can improve body functions in the following aspects to achieve anti-aging results. 1) Enhance bone density 2) Relieve arthritis 3) Strengthen core, stay away from back pain 4) Improve circulation 5) Protect ligaments 6) Relieve tendinitis 7) Say goodbye to stiffness 8) Refuse menopause 9) Avoid high Blood pressure 10) Avoid asthma 11) Improve respiratory function 12) Relieve insomnia 13) Regulate chronic diseases.
There are many studies that show that yoga and meditation can improve our memory and concentration. Both yoga and meditation help us play a higher level role in work, home or school. Yoga helps people deal with adverse situations in a more realistic way. It teaches people to accept and release negative energy, and know how to be grateful, which is necessary to deal with this negative and stressful situation. We can think of yoga as an art, which helps us connect with ourselves on a deeper level. Yoga is a low-impact exercise that involves each of our organs and body parts and our breathing patterns to create balance in our body and mind. Every action we practice yoga activates the nervous system-brain, muscles, bones and emotions at the same time. Yoga poses bring a holistic change, helping us lead a balanced and fulfilling life.
Consult your physician, doctor or other professional before starting any exercise or nutrition program. This is especially important for people over the age of 35 or those with pre-existing health problems. In accordance with our advice, Exercise.co.uk is not responsible for any personal injury or property damage caused.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain or any other unusual symptoms, stop exercising immediately and consult your doctor immediately.
Everyone experiences setbacks in their fitness goals, but with a chronic illness, these hurdles can be much larger. For many, there will be times when their chronic illness may ‘win’. There will be times when it feels like all odds are against them. But, with the right medical treatment, lifestyle, and exercise plan you could be your own success story. If you need inspiration after chronic illness has set you back, this is it.
You may be surprised that numerous professional athletes at the top of their game face chronic health conditions. Venus Williams is known worldwide for being a successful professional tennis player. But, did you know that she lives with a chronic illness?
Williams faces a condition called Sjögren’s, an autoimmune disease that causes issues including extensive dryness, such as of the eyes and mouth, as well as fatigue and chronic pain. Symptoms vary between individuals but can affect multiple different organs making it a challenging condition to live with.
Williams reported the difficulties of being an athlete with an autoimmune disease telling Women’s Health, “I literally had professional tennis taken away from me before I got the right diagnosis”. Amazingly she didn’t give up, and when she found the right treatment and lifestyle, she bounced back making it into the top 5 in 2017.
Whether you’ve had to put down your racket or your slippers have replaced your running shoes, Williams’ comeback offers hope that you too can get back to the sport you love.
Another notable athlete living with a chronic health condition is former Manchester United football star, Darren Fletcher. Speaking to the BBC, Fletcher revealed how his diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis left him urgently needing to go to the toilet “10, 20, 30 times per day and losing a lot of blood”. This is due to the effect of Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease, where the immune system mistakingly attacks healthy cells in the colon. The wider effects on the body include anemia and fatigue, as well as problems with the joints and eyes.
Fletcher reported to the BBC how, for a period of time, he had to take a break from professional football. Amazingly, following successful surgeries, he was able to get back to playing again. The challenges faced by those with chronic illnesses are undeniably huge. But, a diagnosis does not necessarily mean the end of your ability to exercise, as proven by these inspirational athletes who bounced back against the odds.
Now you’ve been inspired, but where to start? Consider a low-moderate intensity exercise plan that builds up slowly. A treadmill or exercise bike is ideal for rebuilding both stamina and strength from the comfort of your home, plus the wide range of settings empower you to take control of your workout. You’ve got this.
Remember, always consult your medical team before making any changes to your exercise routine or nutritional intake.
University is known to be difficult for any student. It is additionally challenging when you have to navigate university life with a chronic illness. This is how you can improve the way you manage your chronic illness while at university.
1. Find exercise that helps, not hinders.
Exercise has fantastic benefits, you don’t want to miss out by thinking it’s not for you. But, your chronic illness is unique to you, so you need to find ways to exercise that suit your body.
A common misconception is that exercise always wipes you out leaving you more fatigued, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Rather than pushing yourself to the max at the gym doing high-intensity workouts, work regular low-moderate exercise into your routine. Your body will find this easier to cope with, minimising the chance of feeling fatigued afterwards.
Even in a boxy university bedroom, you can start a low-moderate exercise plan. Student budget-friendly equipment, such as a yoga mat, resistance bands, and toning weights are all you need to get started. Youtube is a great tool to find free workouts that you can follow at your own pace.
Another excellent piece of equipment for those with a chronic illness is an exercise bike. The wide range of resistance settings allows for a personalised approach to exercise. Plus, exercising from the comfort of your own home empowers you to set the pace, making exercise work for you.
Top tip: Start your mornings right! Challenge yourself to a 10k on an exercise bike while you listen to music or catch up on a podcast. This will energise you for a day of university.
2. Check your nutrition.
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly and stay healthy- NHS
Depending on which chronic illness you have, it may affect your nutrition. Whether you’re catching colds easily or feeling tired and run-down, you could have a nutritional deficiency.
If this sounds like you, the first step should be consulting your medical team. You can get simple blood tests and check your key nutrient levels, like iron and B12. If these are low, they can recommend a treatment such as tablets, intravenous infusions, or injections. This can set you back on the right track for living your best university life.
If possible, also eat a balanced diet including a wide range of food groups and supplement this with nutrient-rich protein shakes. Top tip: When choosing one, check that the ingredients include the nutrients that you specifically need.
Once you have improved your nutritional levels, you will hopefully start feeling more energised and be able to say ‘yes’ to more opportunities at university!
Please consult your medical team before making changes to your exercise routine or nutritional intake, they can provide you with bespoke advice.