Make exercise a priority
It can be difficult to get motivated to exercise if you are tired or do not feel well, but the benefits are worth it. Follow your medical team's recommendations, and try a variety of activities to find what appeals to you. Many people have benefited from weight and strength training, stretching, yoga or aerobic activities. Encourage a friend or spouse to exercise with you. Whether you prefer to exercise alone or with a group, find a routine that you enjoy and that keeps you motivated. You can start with small goals-such as walking to the end of the driveway, down the street and back, then around your block. Increase your activity level gradually. Pace yourself and remember that if you walk away from home, you will need to reserve enough energy for the return trip.
Many people who initially feel tired and reluctant to start exercising feel energized and refreshed afterward. It might help to keep an exercise journal, noting how you feel before and after. You may also want to ask your doctor about working with a physical therapist.
Studies indicate that regular physical activity can have a tremendous impact on quality of life by regulating hormones and proteins in a way that benefits the immune system. Benefits of exercise include improved strength and endurance, reduced pain and fatigue, and improved quality of life.
Tips for getting the most out of exercise
- Try a variety of activities.
- Exercise with a partner.
- Set small goals and increase your activity level gradually.
- Keep an exercise journal.