Monday, April 21, 2014

Fitness For Chronic Illness* (And Evaluating My Resolutions Three And A Half Months In)

Recently, Facebook implored me to like a page called “Fitness For Chronic Illness”.  I was intrigued. 

My first thought was, I wish I’d thought of that.  And my second thought was, I have to try it.

The unique thing about this program is that it starts out with visualization exercises, then a workout, then meditation.  It really focuses on the mind-body connection.

I think it’s a great program if you really aren’t able to do much physical activity.  There’s a lot of stretching and a focus on increasing mobility.  I think it’s also great if you are having a flare and need to pull back on what you usually do, or it’s great to do as an additional workout to what you already do.    

The program is designed so that you do one workout for two weeks, the second workout from weeks three to five, and the third workout from weeks six to eight.   


As I mentioned in my New Year’s resolutions, a big thing that I want to do this year is get back in to working out.  In Michigan, I was kickboxing once a week for an hour, and doing a 2- and a 3-mile walk aerobics DVD, the 2-mile, one day, and the 3-mile, another.  

So I was working out hardcore three times a week.  With defending my dissertation, then moving, then starting a new program, working out went by the wayside, which is unfortunate because it is critical for people with arthritis to keep moving and stay active.  And it is critical for me in the hope that I will take off some of the weight I have gained from being on steroids for almost a year.   

My current work out consists of:

-         Nightly Crunches
o   50 regular
o   20 with feet in the air
o   25 side-to-side
o   Bridge held for 30 seconds

-         Gym (Twice a week)
o   Walking 2.5 miles – 45 minutes on treadmill
o   Five-pound weights (graduated from three-pound weights)
§  20 bicep curls
§  10 bat wings
§  10 lifting weights over head
§  10 side-to-side
§  10 triceps lifts
§  20 punches
o   20 jumping jacks
o   Plank on elbows held for 30 seconds
o   Plank on hands held for 30 seconds

So where does Fitness For Chronic Illness fit into my current workout routine?

I’ve only made it up back up to working out twice a week, so I would love to be able to use it for my third workout of the week, as it is less intense than doing what I currently do, but focused very much on moving around.  

I used to lament having to adapt the workout video that I used to do.  And kind of gave up on it when I went on my unintentional workout hiatus.  But the great thing about this program is that, if you need to modify movements, that is discussed in the program, so it doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself if you can’t do every move as shown.    

You can purchase the DVD for $19.99.  For more information, visit

* My cousin happens to be the co-creator of the program, so I was able to try it for free.  (Although I don’t think that either of us realized we work both working on chronic illness related stuff until we reconnected on Facebook.)


  1. This is very helpful. Love the de emphasis on strenuous and emphasis on mind body connection. I'm going to refer this site to my clients -- and buy it myself!

  2. I just came upon your website and desired to say that I have really experienced studying your website articles. Any way I'll be signing up for your nourish and I wish you publish again soon.A fantastic demonstration. Very open and useful.You have magnificently provided your thought in this short article. Mind Body Fitness

  3. Hey Leslie, I've been reading up on the benefits of exercise for chronic illness, and I'm still surprised that this is something that I don't hear more about. For instance, I have found that patients with fibromyalgia often can gain a sizable measure of control over their chronic pain through regular exercise. The level of dedication it takes to keep to a workout routine with chronic illness is utterly inspiring BTW, hope all is going well.