When you have a long-term health condition, you may feel like exercise isn’t for you. However, there are lots of ways to move your body that will be right for you.

What’s right for one person and their condition won’t always work for someone else. Your health and your body are completely unique. Before starting your exercise journey, please consult your GP or health consultant.

Below you’ll find some general tips and inspiration for exercising with long-term health conditions. You’ll be amazed that even the smallest of activities can make a big difference for you and your health.

 Start Slow

There’s no pressure to start making big changes straight away. Start slowly and you can build on your progress at your own pace. You may want to try moving your body for a couple of minutes a day. At MoreLife, we often talk about SMART goals. These are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. They can help get you started and keep you on track during your exercise journey.

Any progress is still progress, so remember to celebrate each of your goals. The fact you’re taking action to look after your health is amazing, and you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment the more of your goals you achieve.

Listen to Your Body

There will be days when your body is capable of doing more activity, and there’ll be others when you need to do less. Listen to your body and do what feels right for you. You can make the most of your good days, and also be sure to rest on the days you need to. Building habits takes time so be patient with yourself. It’s ok if you’re not finding it easy and there may be days you’re lacking motivation. Every day won’t go to plan and that’s ok. You’re still trying to look after your health, and that’s what is important. Remember to be kind to yourself.

Finding Ways to Move

How you move your body and finding activities that are right for you will depend on your health condition. There are plenty of online resources which can help give you inspiration and tips for your specific needs. You can check out the following websites:

We Are Undefeatable
This offers a variety of support for how people with long-term health conditions can enter and enjoy the world of exercise. From moving more to finding the fun, there’s plenty of helpful info here.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) offers top tipis for specific activities for specific health conditions.

What You Enjoy

While you’re searching for inspiration on ways to move your body remember to ask yourself: Will I enjoy this? The best kind of exercise is one you enjoy doing. You’re much more likely to stick to it. It’s better to find exercises you genuinely want to do, rather than feel like you have to do them. Let yourself find joy in movement. You could try different activities and see which one you’re comfortable with. If you like, you could get your friends and family involved too to make an opportunity to get social. At MoreLife, we love helping people discover the joy of movement. You don’t know what you’re capable of until you start trying. Want to find out how we can help you get going? Check out our services.