Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.
For most of the last decade, I couldn’t even pretend that I was an athlete. Okay, with declining liver health, I kept cycling and walking fast trying to boost my energy, but it wasn’t on an athletic level. I’ve beat the Hepatitis C Virus and liver cancer, and I’m still at it. Not that I ever quit. Quitting is not in my vocabulary. I work out in various ways and have written about how to figure out the best way to get fit here and here. Running is fun and there are so many benefits, but you have to train slowly when you have health troubles. There are many reasons that walking is the best exercise for liver disease and even more methods to do it the smart way.
When you are starting a walking program, think about how much it will help you live stronger longer!
Bone Strength – When you get regular workouts by walking at a fairly fast pace, your bones get more dense. Anytime you do a weight bearing exercise, your body kicks in and helps to make you stronger.
Weight control – Fat around the liver creates disease and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and liver scarring. Whoa Nelly! That was a scary sentence to read. Don’t be scared… just start walking.
Fighting fatigue – If you’re thinking you are too tired to walk, think again. Walking a little over several days can increase your energy. Soon you will be walking further on down the road to better health!
Heart health –This one always scared me. I am a former smoker and used exercise to help me quit smoking. I watched my heart rate go off the charts during exercise. Remember, your heart is a muscle and responds to a workout just like the muscles in your arms and legs. When threatened with varices from end stage liver disease, I knew that it could lead to a bleed out. That is one of the reasons I am sooo excited to have the new Garmin 735XT on my arm. It’s my fitness watch and keeps monitor on my heart rate.
Click here to read the rest of Karen’s blog, “Walking is the Best Exercise for Liver Disease.”