The first wealth is health. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s the first day of summer, and the perfect day to make a commitment to your health. We all know that we are “supposed to” exercise, eat right, and so on, but living with hepatitis C can make it hard to carry out these recommendations. One trick is to turn certain choices into non-negotiable rules. Just as it is a rule that we stop for red lights, and we don’t falsely yell, “fire” in a crowded building, making rules to live by can make it easier to achieve them.

Of all the health-giving choices that we can make that are beneficial, I would put physical activity near the top. Moving is good for body, mind, and spirit. Some hepatitis C patients have a hard time exercising. We are tired, achy, lethargic, and unsteady on our feet. The less we exercise the worse these obstacles become. However, exercise may be precisely the way past this. 

If you watch TV but don’t think you have time to exercise, consider this: If you watched an hour of TV every day and stood up and walked in place during commercials, you could burn approximately the number of calories you would if you briskly walked for half an hour. Can’t walk? You can exercise in bed, on the couch, or in a chair. In this web-based culture, there are many opportunities and resources to find ways to stay fit.

Say “no” to excuses. If all else fails, employ guilt. When resistance creeps in, I think of fellow blogger, Karen Hoyt, who has end-stage liver disease and still exercises, albeit cautiously. If she can exercise, then I can. Karen probably would not endorse my use of guilt, especially linked to her name, but I am happy to use any motivation to stay healthy.

Find a way to add or increase your physical activity level. Talk to your medical provider about a fitness plan that is right for you. Look on You Tube or other Internet sites for exercise videos. Claim your intention to get moving, and then do it.