Tips to Stay Fit Despite Having a Chronic Illness

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Kerry pursuing her weight loss slurgeryStaying Fit with a Chronic illness

Chronic illnesses can last a lifetime, and their effect generally develops progressively. Both young and old can suffer from them due to genetic predisposition, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, or other causes. However, having a chronic illness does not have to be equal to a life of difficulties and sacrifices. With the help of world-class bariatric surgeons through TBC, other health experts, and good habits, you can do a lot to improve your quality of life.

Why is exercising important?

It is vital that those who suffer from a chronic disease understand how to minimize the adverse effects of their illness to add years to their lives and increase their ability to perform any tasks.

On many occasions, these diseases are combined. For example, those who are obese may have diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and other conditions. However, extensive research has shown that patients who undergo bariatric surgery such as gastric sleeve and gastric bypass  experience tremendous health benefits. Additionally, when bariatric patients include regular exercise in their new lifestyle, they improve not only their appearance but enjoy basic improvements such as the following:

  • Quick and permanent weight loss
  • Normalizes cholesterol and triglycerides levels
  • Improves mood disorders and depression
  • Bones and joints become stronger
  • Significant improvements in cardiovascular health
  • Allows patients to enjoy quality sleep and breath better

Types of exercise for those with chronic illness

Continuous physical activity has proven to be an effective means of improving people's health regardless of the type of disease and age. Those who can perform the exercises we will consider are those with diabetes, asthma, heart disease, arthritis, obesity, depression, cancer, chronic pain, to name a few. Moreover, these routines are extremely helpful during the months after bariatric surgery to optimize results.

Before implementing an exercise routine, it is best to speak with your doctor about specific indications for your specific needs and medical history. For example, your bariatric surgeon will talk to you about when to resume exercising after bariatric surgery. Also, remember that most types of exercise must be combined with intensity, frequency, and duration. The exercise is generally divided into these four categories:

  1. Aerobic

In these routines, the heart rate increases, the blood and muscles are oxygenated, and it consumes calories quickly. Some examples are walking, biking, running, swimming, playing sports like soccer and basketball, or any other aerobic routines.

  1. Interval

Any form of aerobic exercise is recommended for this training where low, medium, and high-intensity intervals are alternated. It helps strengthen muscles, improves respiratory and cardiovascular capacity, and activates metabolism to burn fat. An example is running 15 minutes with low or medium intensity, then running or sprinting for 1 minute, followed by resting and repeating the cycle as many times as possible. It is ideal for those struggling against obesity, bariatric patients, or those who do not have much time to exercise for long periods.

  1. Strength

These routines include exercises with repetitions that help you strengthen your joints, muscles and help you improve postures. Usually, they can be performed at a gym or at home, which includes the use of elastic bands, weights, weightlifting machines, etc.

  1. Flexibility

These are exercises in which the body is stretched and flexed and are ideal for preventing joint stiffness and increasing the ability to move. It is often combined with aerobic and strength exercises, both before to warm up and after to relax the muscles. The variety of these exercises allow patients to stay fit and improve their breathing capacity significantly.

How can you be physically active if you have a chronic illness?

The safest exercise is the one that is supervised and recommended by a healthcare professional, such as your bariatric doctor or hospital medical team. That is especially important if you suffer from lower back pain, joint pain, have asthma, have had recent flare-ups with your illness, or have had bariatric surgery. Thus, you can create a safe exercising plan according to your current physical capacity.

Of course, don't forget to follow your medication as prescribed. Always have your inhaler, pressure monitor, insulin, or anything else you may need in an emergency with you. However, as you improve your physical condition, especially after a bariatric procedure, you will experience a significant reduction in your chronic conditions, and, as a result, you will reduce or even eliminate the need to take medication, as we will consider next.

Additionally, always stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and avoid skipping meals. If you do so, your body will be in ideal conditions to enjoy the results of physical activity and a weight loss procedure at Tijuana Bariatric Center.

What are the benefits of bariatric surgery and exercise?

Fortunately, many people today have their illnesses under control (even experiencing remission), their effects have diminished considerably, and they enjoy a good quality of life. That is the case for those who have undergone bariatric surgery. Through this effective method, many have managed to overcome obesity and experience surprising improvement in its related conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and hypertension.

Bariatric patients have an incredibly high rate of success in incorporating a much healthier lifestyle than before. With more physical activity, better nutrition, and lots of motivation, they can begin a new healthy lifestyle. As a result, they have a ripple effect that helps regulate their blood pressure, stabilize sugar levels, rest their joints and bones, and reduce the risk of developing other severe effects, such as heart attacks and strokes.

How to start the habit of exercising regularly

The reality is that starting to exercise can be quite a challenge. But it is well worth it since it will improve your health and your life remarkably. Here are 3 practical tips:

  1. Dating someone

A wise proverb says that two are better than one, so find an exercise partner. It can be a friend, a family member, a neighbor, or even join a group that exercises together. If you commit to a time and day with someone, it will be easier to follow up on your exercising goals. In addition, you will feel more encouraged and motivated.

  1. Set goals

If it's something new for you, you can start with small goals and simple exercises. Health experts say that the idea is to do a minimum of 150 minutes a week. So, you can divide them into 3, 5, or 7 days and you will see that it is not that difficult in the end. And after a few months, once it has become a habit, you may be able to increase the duration or even try new exercises.

  1. Be consistent

Be realistic but don't be discouraged. You may not achieve all the goals you have set for yourself at first, but don't worry. The important thing is that you have already started. Better is to do a bit of physical activity than doing nothing. You will see that perseverance and effort always pay off in the long term.

Having a better life is always a great incentive

Do not let a chronic disease impede you from enjoying life and sharing good times with the people you love. Decide today to include small changes in your routine that can provide you great results and a healthy lifestyle.

If you want to know more about our state-of-the-art bariatric procedures at Tijuana Bariatric Center, call us today at   1 800 970 0577 or email us at [email protected]  so that you can enjoy a free virtual consultation.

Author: Linda Cardona

Nutritionist

Linda Cardona provides nutritional counseling to bariatric surgery patients who have received treatment in Tijuana, Mexico. Adjusting to the bodily changes of a bariatric procedure is difficult enough, but patients oftentimes struggle to maintain their weight even long after surgery. Linda Cardona, bariatric nutritionist, will advise patients to help ensure that each individual has a safe recovery and enjoys long-term weight loss.

Read more here: Linda Cardona

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