Easy Ways to Move Your Body with a Chronic Illness

6 Easy Ways to Move Your Body with a Chronic Illness

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links and sponsorships, meaning I will receive a small commission for reader purchases through my links. This is at no cost to the reader. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

exercise equipment

Today on the blog, I’m sharing the results I found from my 2022 goal, in case you’re looking to adopt the same goal yourself! After leading a very sedentary life (because, let’s face it, who wants to give up their very limited energy to exercise?!), I made it my mission to find the very best ways to move my body, even with my chronic illnesses. Why? Because despite all the extra energy and provisions exercising requires with a chronic illness, moving your body consistently still has incredible health benefits, both physically and mentally! Now I won’t lie to you, exercising is by far not my favorite activity, but I’ve found ways to make it easier and sustainable. I’ve taken all the trial and error, guesswork, and research out of the equation for you by finding the top 6 easy ways to move your body with a chronic illness. Read on for more!

Try Swimming

Swimming is an amazing way to move your body with a chronic illness, especially if you have any sort of joint pain, as it has no joint impact at all! I love swimming laps because it doesn’t cause any additional pain for me. However, it can be difficult to swim laps if you struggle with breath support. I went through a season where I had difficulties breathing and was whipped simply holding my breath through one stroke. If you struggle with this too, I recommend a breaststroke or doggy paddle with your head up and out of the water. This way, you can still get your heart rate up, without having the extra breathing difficulty. Additionally, for both cardio and body toning, I suggest deep water aerobics. This too doesn’t have joint impact and often uses a small area of the pool, making it great for exercise in a community pool! I started out by taking a few classes to learn the moves, and now I can do this on my own. YouTube also has some great options by searching “deep water aerobics”. Lastly, if you find many of these options to still be too difficult, try simply walking laps in the water! You can achieve the same goals as a walk around the block, with less joint impact by simply walking from one edge of the pool to the other.

woman swimming freestyle with goggles on.

Go for a Walk

Walking is so great for both our physical and our mental health! For mental health, I love to listen to a good podcast or my favorite happy playlist while I walk. Simply enjoying the outdoors for a few minutes each day can greatly improve your mood. For physical health, it’s great for improving circulation, better sleep, and improved breathing. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, take a walk around your neighborhood, your house, etc. for these amazing health benefits. In the past year, I have seen such an improvement in my endurance because of walking! I used to only be able to walk for a few minutes each day. Now I can walk for 60 minutes because of how consistently I’ve walked in the last year. It is possible to start slow and work your way toward your goals!

Woman walking on a boardwalk with sneakers on.

Exercise from your Couch

I know it’s hard to believe, but you truly can increase your heart rate from the seated position! I love to follow The Balanced Method to Health on YouTube and Instagram for easy, seated exercise routines that don’t cause extra pain! Many of these exercises are less than 10 minutes long, so I like to complete the workouts 2-3 times, broken up throughout the day so I don’t get too tired trying to complete it all in 1 session. These are also great for beginners or those with limitations. The Balanced Method has been a lifesaver to me, especially during my infusion treatments when my energy level is more limited!

Woman exercising from a chair.

Start your Day with a Stretch

It will be much easier to move your body with a chronic illness if it’s already stretched and warmed up! Spend just ten minutes stretching first thing in the morning, and you can already check “move your body” off your to-do list for the day, not to mention how immensely this will help with morning stiffness if you struggle with it! I love to follow along with this YouTube video to start my morning off on the right foot.

woman stretching from her desk.

Accommodate if Needed

This might mean taking your blood sugar to see if you need to eat a snack before you exercise. This also might mean you need to practice the “modified positions” in your workout class. Take more breaks and drink more water if that helps you power through, or reward yourself with a long, hot bath to relax your muscles after you move your body (my favorite!). You know your body best; take the steps necessary to take care of yourself as your move your body.

woman drinking water

Exercise with a Friend

This is such a win-win situation, because it guarantees time spent with your friend, while also being healthy and taking care of yourself! If you struggle with lack of time, you can cross “seeing your friend” and “exercising” off your list with this. Sometimes scheduling issues can get in the way of physically exercising with friends; if this is the case for you, try calling a long-distance friend during your afternoon walk so you can still catch up. I also recommend you check in with each other often to hold yourselves accountable to your exercise goals! Sometimes when you’re dreading that early morning swim class, a quick text from a friend is just the motivation you need to grab your beach bag and head to the pool.

women walking together

In Summary

That’s a wrap on my top 6 easy ways to move your body with a chronic illness! Are you setting any movement goals this year? Tell me about it below so we can hold each other accountable!

Spread the Love

13 thoughts on “6 Easy Ways to Move Your Body with a Chronic Illness”

  1. Whitney Stewart

    This is all really good advice! My goal is to try to be a bit ‘healthier’ this year and than includes exercise. But I didn’t want to spend money for a gym. All these are perfect! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I totally get it, plus the gym seems so boring to me! I like to look at new environments while I exercise, so I completely understand and wish you well on your journey to health!

  2. This is so inspiring! I love that you included your own personal journey. You have some really good ideas that I had never thought of!

  3. Great advice! I agree that a good workout session doesn’t equal long and exhausting exercises.
    A vigorous walk works wonders. And having an accountability partner is an excellent way to stay on track.

  4. I’m glad you found something easily you can do swimming is great for anything because it’s just I don’t know it’s just amazing and I like going for a walk myself but I can only go but for so long but great list you have here and I wish you the best of luck with your goals

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Swimming is the best, so refreshing and you never have to worry about sweating or achy joints!

  5. Pingback: Your Guide to Survive Summer with a Chronic Illness - Val's Magical Life

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *