Getting back into Exercise After Illness

Jul 25, 2019

I’ve shared many times that I used to be super, super active. Yoga, biking, and running half and full marathons. That’s the life I knew and that’s the life I loved!! These types of exercise provided me with stress relief and a chance to just get away, sometimes to think by myself, and sometimes NOT to think and to just find peace!

Then it all stopped. When I started experiencing chronic neurological symptoms, there was no room for this kind of movement in my life. Quite honestly, I felt so badly that I couldn’t even bear the thought of exercise, but it didn’t take long for me to horribly miss the whole experience! Running, in particular, was the way I dealt with the stress in life, and suddenly, at a time of major stress, it was gone.

Thankfully after finding Medical Medium and starting to heal, I began to learn how to find peace and relaxation in sitting outside and taking walks in nature. Though it wasn’t running, I got some of “me” back when I learned to breathe, meditate, and take time for myself. A bit later, I got back to doing some gentle yoga.

Recently, I was finally able to get outside and complete a short run! It. Felt. Amazing. Just to get away, and to be moving, and to be one with myself again. So many mamas dream of this moment, and while I completely understand the desire to get back out there, we have to be sure to take care of our bodies when doing so!

Let’s Talk Adrenals

Our adrenal glands produce important hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, and these hormones are essential for responding to stress. The stress response, however, is meant to be a result of quickly-resolving threats and therefore short-lived. Once stress becomes long-term (such as stress related to chronic illness, intense or ongoing job demands, family issues, financial troubles, or even postpartum), our adrenals can work poorly and/or go haywire when their demands are too high.

People with health problems normally have adrenals that have become slightly compromised and aren’t functioning at their best. Many deal with recurring bouts of adrenal fatigue or ongoing, chronic adrenal fatigue.
-Anthony William

Adrenal fatigue is no joke! As a result, we need to ensure that we’re keeping our adrenal health in mind when jumping (literally and figuratively) back into exercise. While it’s beneficial to bring that part of our lives back, we definitely want to work WITH and not against our bodies!

On top of exercise/movement, don’t forget to think about hydration and food! Remaining hydrated is key for optimal adrenal functioning. Coconut water in particular is great for recovery/electrolytes and living water is most easily absorbed (obtain living water by adding citrus and/or honey to your water or letting your water sit in the sun before drinking). As for food, ensure you’re eating frequently (every 1.5 to 2 hours is ideal, especially if you’re exercising) and make sure your meals contain enough calories and contain a balance of potassium, sodium, and natural sugar (from fruits of course).

Anthony has shared that examples of adrenal-supportive meals include:

  • A date (potassium), two celery sticks (sodium), an apple (sugar)
  • Half an avocado (potassium), spinach (sodium), an orange (sugar)
  • A sweet potato (potassium), parsley (sodium), lemon squeezed on kale (sugar)

Other ideal adrenal health-supporting foods include sprouts, asparagus, wild blueberries, bananas, garlic, broccoli, kale, raspberries, blackberries, romaine lettuce, and red-skinned apples.

These foods help strengthen the nervous system, reduce inflammation, ease stress, and provide critical nutrients for adrenal function.
-Anthony William

Once you’ve got a handle on the food and drink end of things, it just might be time to get your body moving!

How to Get back to Exercise

Begin with walking! Walking is an excellent way to reacquaint yourself with exercise. The physical movement is healing and detoxifying, yet not too hard on your body. Grab a friend, loved one, or even a pet, and work your way up to a 20-30 minute walk. To further increase the benefit of your walk, take this time to take nice deep breaths, truly look at and take in your surroundings, and aim to feel genuine appreciation for your ability to be up and moving.

Consider stretching / no impact exercises. Light yoga is a great way to get back into exercise. Even when attending a class, remember that it is YOUR practice so you should go at YOUR pace (the best instructors will remind you of this).

The “ PocketGym ” is another option. This program is a gentle movement system in which the motions are done by standing in one place and shifting weight from one foot to the other. As stated on their website, “The Synergetics exercises are a series of no-impact workouts that can be done for 12 minutes in the morning and 12 minutes in the evening to ease the body from fat, stress, and pain. Breathing, stretching, isokinetics, and meditation-in-motion soothe and strengthen your body. The hand-held PocketGym provides stability and strength to the gentle but effective isokinetic motions.”

As important as it is to get movement (back) into our routines, we want to make sure we are constantly moving forward on our healing paths. Anthony has surely taught us that our bodies are so so wise. Let’s use the reintroduction of exercise as yet another time that we can support our bodies in doing the healing it knows how to do.

For additional information on how to heal your body, check out my ROH consultation information. Stay tuned for my course starting in September.

The post Getting back into Exercise After Illness appeared first on Reclaimers of Health.

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