By Veronika Kapsova
I have been training since last November, shortly after I got out of the hospital and back on my feet. It was very hard as I was in constant pain and as my new medications were still quite new and hadn’t kicked into the body properly, it took a little adjusting. I was careful to take it easy and to really take one step at a time so as not to do too much. I found that the little things that I was doing were making a big difference.
For the past few months, my training has been back to full swing concentrating on strength, high resistance and cardio. I am training for the Mini Marathon with my friend Emma and sometimes other friends join us. Training together helps make us stronger and pushes us to reach our own personal goals.
At the moment my training usually consists of 10km runs, cross training, arm strengthening, Tae Bo, some tennis and more. I try to work out up to 6 days per week if I’m not sick and I usually take one rest day per week.
In the past 2 weeks I haven’t been able to train every day or stick to my sessions with the other people I exercise with as I had ongoing migraines and was feeling constantly sick. I also had joint pain that flared in my arms and knees. I stopped training for a couple of days but tried swimming instead. I got back training again for a few days but had to stop due to the pain I was feeling.
It is not only the pain that was affecting me, but also I am in college at it is a really busy time at the moment. I had practical exams at the end of March followed by written exams in April/May. Every day is really busy. I try to exercise after college and might not get home until 10pm. With assignments it could be past midnight before I am finished. Time management is really important as sometimes I feel like I should exercise but I know that my college work will suffer. If I chose my assignments, then my training will suffer. I have to work hard at balancing the college work and my fitness. My family tell me that sometimes I don’t know my limits, but they are really supportive of me and what I am doing.
Taking part in running events is a really big motivation for me. The first run I did really helped me to reach my personal goals. Since then I have used them as motivation to keep training. I am managing something that I always thought would be impossible.
Being active really helps me ease off and de-stress. I also find that things like Yoga really help me.
I have really learned that with the correct motivation, everything is possible and I can achieve anything I want. Moving is definitely my best medicine.
Here are some helpful tips to help keep you motivated with your own exercise.
1: Set yourself a goal – Why not sign up to take part in the mini marathon on June 2nd and raise money for Arthritis Ireland. Stick your registration letter on your fridge, or somewhere you will see it every day as a reminder that you are going to do this.
2: Start slowly – Don’t run before you can walk! Why not join an Arthritis Ireland walking group in your area. Build up the intensity and distance of your walks slowly. Seeing your achievements will really motivate you.
3: Get a Training Buddy – Veronica trains with her friend Emma and this motivates them both. Why not make arrangements to exercise with a friend or family member. If you have a “date” with them, you are much less likely to miss your session.
4: Warm up & Stretch – make sure you warm up properly before starting. When you sign up to take part in the mini marathon for Arthritis Ireland, you will receive a full training pack with lots of useful and safe stretches and exercises.
5: Variety is the spice of life – just as veronica changes her routine with different kinds of exercises, try out things like swimming, aqua aerobics, an exercise bike and walking. Find what suits you at a specific time. Swimming can be great when you want to ease the pressure on your joints.
6: Spread the Word – Tell your family and friends what your goal is and why. As them for sponsorship & tell them why it will make a difference. Ask them for their support. You may be surprised at who you motivate to get involved too.
Click here to register your interest or for more information in taking part in the Mini Marathon on behalf of Arthritis Ireland or call Orla on 01-6470209.