Sunday, May 4, 2014

Health Talk 101: Chronic Disease Management

Our view from the Go Station - D took this - Beautiful :) 

Good Sunday afternoon friends! I am writing this post right before we head out to look at some condos in the city... Long story short, we have changed our house game and goals considerably since I last shared here and here, and now we're looking for a place close to where we both work! Life is funny, and it probably seems like I am super fickle, but the truth is that you just have to be open when it comes to home buying and see where the journey takes you. Our original desired location was just too expensive and too long of a commute. For the same money, we would have pretty much zero transit costs and be within a 20 minute walk to work... which for us is appealing. It also means a new funky neighbourhood to explore and new social activities to find!

BUT - that is a story for another day. I promise to keep you all up-to-date, but what I really want to share today is Chronic Disease Management... For some of you this may seem abstract, but for others I know that you can seriously relate. For someone like me, with Crohn's disease or IBS or even colitis, management is the key to a happy life. For me, that means the right diet - a balance of healthy food and not indulging too often in the greasy stuff - but it also means keeping active.

Since starting this new job, I have an interesting commute that includes a 20 minute walk from the Go station to work. This is my favourite time of the day, as I challenge myself to walk faster and faster each day. I get into work feeling refreshed and energetic, and my waistline can already see the results of consistent activity! Exercise does not always have to be a huge routine, it can mean going for a nice long walk, and working on strengthening your core. It can be yoga, or Pilates, or a quick mix of cardio and weights. I personally have been keeping to a core and strengthening routine that allows me to keep my body in check, with the addition of my daily "commute". I feel better than I have in a long time and I am happy that walking is such a big part of my life again.

Walking can sometimes be a cure all - whether you have had a bad day, or you have a lot going on, a walk can give you time to breathe in the fresh air (or semi-fresh in my case), and clear your head and realign your body. Yoga is another great tool - I personally don't practice, but I know lots of people who find this a great way to keep in shape and balanced.

At the end of the day, exercise that helps keep you balanced is a great way to manage your chronic disease, or any ailment, really.

As I mentioned earlier, diet has a great impact on how I feel every day. There are certain foods I know will make me feel sluggish or acidic, so I tend to avoid those - but I certainly do not completely deprive myself of the things I love. I have a wicked sweet-tooth which I have managed to control over the years, and giving myself a little treat every once in awhile (ahem, daily) makes a huge difference in me sticking to the rest of my "diet". As with many chronic diseases, I am not trying to lose weight, I am simply trying to manage my health in a way that keeps my energy levels, and my spirit, high!

Before I go, I had another thought. Chronic Disease Management isn't something you have to do alone. A great support system, and people who take the time to understand, makes a huge difference. So, if you know someone who is going through a life-long ailment, take the time to understand what they are going through. Your support and understanding makes their lives a lot easier and takes away a little of the stress that comes along with these types of diseases. Surrounding myself with good people has made a world of difference and its the friends who do not judge me or my choices that really help me the most.

So friends - do you know anyone who has a chronic disease or something they are dealing with? How do you help or deal with it? I really want to know!


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2 comments:

  1. Love this. You're totally right with exercise being a huge factor in feeling better. I don't know if we talked about this last time we skyped but mike got mono and I felt pretty terrible for a few weeks so I didn't work out for over a month. I just went back the other day and it's insane how much less stress I

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  2. Had going into work the next day... It's crazy, I've never felt so affected by exercise. No idea what just happened with the comment there lol. Sometimes my iPad does weird things....
    So happy you guys are starting to narrow down the condo search :)

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