Andrea is a nutritional therapy practitioner and a personal trainer and is an expert pairing good nutrition with healthy movement. We wanted to share her story with you and introduce you to her philosophy on how to move your body in a nourishing way, whether or not you live with autoimmune disease.
Exercising While Healing: Andrea’s Story
Hi! I’m am Andrea. And six years ago, I was sick. I hurt everywhere, my body felt like it was on fire, and I was exhausted. Simple tasks like climbing stairs and going to the grocery store were overwhelming to me. And finally, after a long time, I was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune disorders- Hashimoto’s disease, Celiac disease and fibromyalgia.
The first thing I did was change my diet. Before my diagnosis, I ate a pretty standard American diet. After my diagnosis I transitioned to eating a nutrient dense diet of real foods- organic, non-processed vegetables, fruits and meats. And, as you all can imagine, I started to feel better almost immediately.
Once I started to feel better, I knew that to get to the next level of healthy, I needed to exercise. Having been an athlete my whole life, I was well versed in the benefits of exercise. But what I learned after my diagnosis was that exercise, along with healthy food, can actually help manage the symptoms caused by autoimmune disease. Exercise can reduce the pain, discomfort and body aches. Exercise can reduce anxiety and depression, which are often side effects of autoimmune disease. And the list of exercise benefits goes on and on.
However, starting to go back to exercise was a lot harder than I thought. My body struggled to make it through even just a few minutes of my old routine. And I didn’t know why, so I researched it. And I learned that exercise is a double edged sword when it comes to chronic illness. Exercise is healthy, but only in the right doses. Too much can overload our system and send our symptoms into overdrive, making us feel worse rather than better. And even people who don’t struggle with chronic illness can experience this. Exercise creates an intense adrenaline rush, which can send our cortisol (our stress hormone) into overdrive. Too much exercise over a long period of time can cause adrenal fatigue.
This is why it is incredibly important to exercise in a healthy nourishing way. We need to protect our bodies, so we can gain all the benefits of exercise without any of the drawbacks.
Here are my Top Three Tips To Help You Get Strong and Fit in a Healthy Way:
- A daily exercise routine is essential to staying healthy and fit. A good exercise routine does not need to be long or grueling to be effective. It does need to be consistent. Doing a little bit every day is very important to keep your body limber, strong, and pain-free. Start slow and easy. Over time, your body will adapt to the exercises and will be more capable of doing more challenging work.
- Stretching is an important component to a well-rounded workout routine. A healthy body needs to have healthy connective tissues. A full body stretching routine will improve your flexibility, will keep your muscles healthy, will improve your posture, and will even help improve your sleep. Plus, it feels so good!
- Strength building exercises are more beneficial for you than cardio. Cardio can be good for you, but it should not be the only thing you do. Weight bearing exercises are important for many reasons, including building muscle tone, strengthening bone density, and regulating our hormones. Additionally, strength building exercises can reduce the experience of muscular discomfort and pain, anxiety & depression, and help us manage stress. However, you do not have to lift weights to participate in strength building exercises. You can use your body weight to build strength safely and effectively.
For example, simply standing on one leg can bring significant changes to your muscular structure- improving your deep stability muscles of your core and glutes, which benefit you by creating better balance. Start by holding the position for 10 seconds, and then 20 seconds, etc. If you can’t stand on one leg for 10 seconds, practice the position against the wall first. When you are able to stand on one leg unsupported by the wall for 1 minute, then practice doing the same technique with your eyes closed. This simple move can create significant change in body strength in just a few minutes a day.
These three concepts are the foundation of the Autoimmune Strong exercise program. Autoimmune Strong is the first exercise program that takes your body’s needs into account, and helps you increase foundational strength without overloading your system. It’s self-paced, easy to do at home, and takes only 15 minutes of your day. But it has incredible impact!
Since I, like my friends at Paleo on the Go, believe that healthy food should be paired with healthy exercise, I want to offer you a special Paleo on the Go discount, so you can try the Autoimmune Strong program out for yourself!
Just enter this coupon code at checkout:
and receive $10 off of any Autoimmune Strong membership
Join here: https://www.getautoimmunestrong.com/join/