For those of us with chronic illness, (and this includes Lyme disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, asthma, and the entire host of annoying body problems that won’t go away) exercising can be a problem.
At my worst, because of the Lyme arthritis I had to crawl up the stairs using my arms and legs. When it’s tough going up a flight of stairs, do you think I really want (or have the energy) to exercise?
It’s not that I don’t want to exercise. In fact I fondly remember exercising when I was, and felt, a heck of a lot better. I ran track when I went to college, these days I joke that my only form of exercise is driving to the mailbox.
It’s not that far from the truth and it’s not really that funny.
In fact, it’s kind of sad.
Put all of this on top of being a writer where I can sit in my chair in front of a screen for up to 8 hours a day, and it’s even sadder. I just don’t get the daily exercise that I need to maintain health.
But I know that if I don’t use it, I’ll lose it, so I make try to make challenges for myself.
I have a fitbit and I challenge myself to make that 10,000 step-a-day goal – everyday. I have friends on fitbit and we compare steps. I may not be able to exercise like I used to, but the competitive streak in me still lives on. I want to show my friends that I can do it.
You don’t have to start out running. If you do chances are you will quit, running is hard work. But you do need to start out at least getting up out of your chair. Walking is enough (for now.)
2000 steps today, 2001 steps tomorrow. The point is to try and then try harder.
If you have a fitbit, I’ve started the public group Fit to Food for anyone (you don’t have to have a chronic illness) who’d like a little motivation for walking and meeting goals. It’s an open group and you’re welcome to join us. (No fees but you do have to have a fitbit.)
In this group no one will yell at you if you don’t make your daily goal, instead, we’ll all applaud you for the monumental accomplishment of getting out of your chair – every day.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.