Many women today struggle with weight loss due to Autoimmune Diseases or other underlying conditions. Understanding how your body works and reacts is essential to see the results you've been wanting but most importantly having the right support without the stress that comes from following trends that are not gentle to your individual needs and that can cause more harm than good.
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Will regular exercise reduce my symptoms and flares generally?
Exercise can be beneficial for those suffering from autoimmune conditions for several reasons. Exercise helps to regulate blood sugar and weight. Exercise helps increase mental alertness and feelings of well-being and exercise can help to combat fatigue if done carefully. Exercise is very therapeutic in most all cases of autoimmune conditions if it is done gradually and gently. The key here is gradual and gentle, without overdoing muscle fatigue and increasing pain.
How does regular exercise help with endocrine-related flares?
Regular exercise helps maintain regular secretions of hormones like insulin and thyroid hormones. These hormones will keep body systems running smoothly during stressful life situations keeping flares to a minimum.
Exercise for those with an autoimmune condition has a different purpose than those that are aiming for a 5K run or are training for a big race or athletic competition. Exercise for those with autoimmune conditions is designed to maintain muscle function and improve overall health and well-being, including decreasing or minimizing pain. If that leads to running a 5K then great, but the daily race of living is the ultimate goal.
Exercise can be done up to three times a week if tolerated. The goal is to be routine and regular stretching muscles and increasing mobility and endurance. Exercising just once a week will not increase endurance and doesn’t help maintain muscle flexibility. Daily gentle stretching and a short daily walk might be more beneficial if tolerated without exhaustion. Balance a daily nap or rest period for optimal health.
Food as Medicine
The rapid rise in autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases over the last fifty years has resulted in a return to the ancient, Hippocratic and Eastern medicine focus on using nutrition and diet to control symptoms.
Personalized nutrition is the wave of the future, and more people are paying much closer attention to food as part of health. Interdisciplinary work between fields such as genetics, microbiology, immunology, nutritional sciences and others is contributing a new understanding of how and why food is a key to good health.
Whether it is for weight loss, symptom management or just overall health, most people have tried following specific diets at some point in their lives. But despite all their popularity, why do most diets fail?
The internet is full of dramatic success stories, many trying to sell you on one fad diet or another. It can be discouraging to try the specialty diet that worked for someone else only to find no real success for you! Why didn’t it work for you? It can be an easy jump to poor body image, negative thinking, and the feeling that you alone are struggling to find the perfect diet. That you alone are struggling to manage your symptoms, and feel optimally healthy. But you are NOT alone!
One diet does not fit all! What worked for your partner, relative or friend, not to mention someone random on Twitter, is not guaranteed to work for you.
You are unique. There is no quick fix to alleviate your symptoms and achieve optimal health. That being said, it is easier than ever to figure out which foods help your body and which foods hurt it.
My story may be a little unusual for someone who seeks out a personal trainer. In 1998, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) which is a progressive disease. My personal goal when I started with Nathan in regards to my physical health, quickly went from trying to achieve greater strength to trying to maintain muscle strength as best I could due to the nature of the disease I am dealing with. Nathan developed a series of exercises for me that maintained strength in all major muscle groups while trying to gain strength where I could. This too was my greatest struggle. I have been working out with Nathan for over 3 years, and am extremely satisfied with my progress. I am pleased to see that there are areas where I have improved, such as in my arms. Listen to Nathan! And workout in between sessions at home when possible. I look forward to my workouts because my exercises are tailored to my specific needs. He developed an exercise program that works best for me as an individual. I recommend!
Pam P., Chapel Hill, NC