Exercise & Lyme

Having dealt with chronic Lyme disease for 17 years, I know the ins and outs of this illness.

For the most part, I know what my body can handle. However, despite my intimate knowledge and understanding of this disease, I still hear the following words rather regularly: “If you would just exercise…”


It is true, exercise has been like a fountain of youth for many people. And I’m certainly not disagreeing with the effectiveness of engaging in consistent exercise. However, people rarely try to see the issue from my point of view: when in pain (excruciating pain), dealing with headaches (at least five per day and often a migraine on top of those five), suffering from tummy issues (despite a healthy diet and supplementation), and moaning from achy joints and muscles…exercise is NOT a good idea.


Those symptoms described above also accurately describe my daily life for the majority of the past 17 years. Only recently have I begun to think that maybe, just maybe, I could get serious about exercise.

By “get serious” I mean do more than walk when I can, or take the stairs at a store when I can. I mean join a group, learn the rules, commit to doing some form of exercise several times per week.

In fact, I can prove I’m serious. In October, I joined a yoga class. I was able to do one class, then I experienced a chronic infection that lasted for 8 weeks…basically, imagine the worst flu that you have ever had, then keep that in your mind for eight weeks. There was no way I was going back to yoga while feeling like complete and utter s***.

Now, I think I may be ready to try again. I have been recovered from the chronic infection for two months, and have been able to increase my hours at work while dealing with a sick dog, so I think my body might be ready for a change.

Now dear readers, is the part where I need your help!

I am considering many options: yoga? Pilates? Swimming lessons? Physical therapy? Gym? What, oh what, would be best for my body?


If you have been chronically ill and have also tried exercising, I would love to know your story and get your feedback on how exercising has gone for you! 


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7 thoughts on “Exercise & Lyme

    • Thank you for your thoughts Shannon! I think it’s different for every person and we each need to pay attention to what our bodies say and act accordingly. Glad that light walking and yoga have been working for you! Keep up the good work!
      And thank you for reading my little blog 🙂 I hope its content is helpful.

  1. I agree that listening to our bodies is best. I try to do a few yoga poses and stretching most days, but beyond that it depends. I enjoy being outside when it’s warm, but don’t like cold weather. Sometimes I can walk and feel strong and other times my joints are in so much pain it’s not happening.

    I tried swimming for a few months a couple of years back because it’s low-impact. Other than recurrent swimmers ear I did well with it most of the time. I just had to take it so slow and wore out quickly. My doctor order physical therapy for me for muscle wasting and deconditioning and swimming was part of it.

    I recently started rebounding on a mini trampoline for a few minutes a day for detox and doing a short kettlebell workout (5 minutes) 2 to 3 times weekly. After several weeks of this I could really feel myself getting stronger.

    But then I was sidelined by worsening symptoms and a viral infection and was bedridden a couple of weeks. I can tell I’ve become weak again and need to get back to the workouts.

    I tend to really overdo it on the days I feel good. Then I end up paying for it the rest of the week. Ha!

    Life after Lyme is so different than before. I know that sounds obvious, but I think I took so many things for granted before. It really changes your perspective, at least it has mine. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience Lori!
      I also tend to overdo it when I feel good. As I said in my post, I tried joining a yoga class but ended up missing most of the classes because of a viral infection,so I totally understand what you mean! I’m thinking of trying several things – pilates, yoga, swimming, etc – and seeing what works for me. Thankfully a facility was built 10 minutes from where I live with lots of options! I will definitely update my readers with my success (or unsuccessful) stories.

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