Why Exercise Is Such A Big Deal

And why its important for Porphyrics

The benefit of exercise cannot be stressed enough.

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. Exercise also prevents muscle atrophy. Muscle atrophy is when muscles waste away. It’s usually caused by a lack of physical activity. When a disease or injury makes it difficult or impossible for you to move an arm or leg, the lack of mobility can result in muscle wasting.

A good and healthy eating plan will enable you to have enough energy to exercise with ease – even for a Porphyric.
In the fitness community it is a general consensus that “it” is about 80% Nutrition, and 20% Exercise.

There are two facts that one has to take cognisance of and that is;

1. If you're exercising, but are eating incorrectly, you're not going to get the results you want.
• Either you'll get tired to soon, or
• You will aggravate your Porphyria symptoms,
• Go into an acute Porphyria attack or
• You will simply gain weight.

2. If you're eating correctly, but you're doing no exercise, you will lose muscle, not fat. Muscles help your body to:
• Burn fats more quickly!
• For a Porphyric it can bring extra strength, testosterone and limit muscle atrophy (decrease in muscle mass)

A lot of common actions do not come with ease for Pophyrics, but we are all in the same boat when it comes to exercise!
The good news is that lifestyle changes, a healthy and correct diet, good attitude and consistency it becomes easier, with the massive pay-off of feeling, looking and being in great shape! Most people find exercise a constant battle, but for a Porphyria patient, exercise can simply be quite a frightening ordeal!

In addition to the above, partaking in regular exercise not only becomes easier, and one reaps the benefit of being healthier, it also becomes part of an effective prevention treatment and effective rehabilitation treatment after a Porphyria episode/attack.

Porphyric's need to focus on a few important points and ensure that the following is adhered to;
• Maintain a correct hi-carbohydrate diet
• Live a Porphyria-friendly lifestyle
• Avoidance of as many Triggers as possible
• Respect inconsistency and/or your specific limits
• Do everything to live a life without regret and don’t loose your sense of humour – a good attitude will not only inspire you, but those around you

Moderate exercise in a controlled environment is best for anyone with a chronic illness. Reasons for a Porphyric to make use of a gym is:
• Temperature control plays a huge role in a Porphyria patients’ life. Overheating, or extreme cold can be the cause of an episode or attack.
• Some types of Porphyria are sensitive to UVA & UVB rays and are forced to stick to indoor areas with safe lighting, as they are allergic to the sun.
• Porphyric's cannot become dehydrated, and water is always at hand in a gym.
• You are never alone in a gym, and if a patient has an episode, help is instant. Most gyms will have your health information on file these days.

With this said, a Porphyric must avoid a few triggers at gym too, such as:
• Over training, over-heating and pushing your heart-rate too high without resting intervals.
• Lactic Acid build-up and/or inflammation (due to illness, injury or being stiff)
• Disinfected sprays to clean equipment, can contain chemicals or often has citronella in them.
• Sauna’s/Steam rooms are too hot, and must be avoided or used in short bursts.
• Energy drinks and supplements often have preservatives and colorants, and as there is no documented data on most of these drinks and how it effects porphyria, therefore it is perhaps advisable to stay away from them.

If you have not been active for a long period, please see someone like a Biokineticist to work on your alignment, and make sure you get those weak areas rehabilitated. (Ensure that the Biokineticist is informed that you have Poprhyria so they can do thorough research before committing to a plan.

Once you are straightened out, Pilates, weight training and easy Yoga practices are great for the following reasons:

• It is controlled and the pace is not distracting
• You do not overheat
• You can rest in between sets or stances and
• It is a great discipline to learn how your body moves, works, connects and feels
• The testosterone and cortisol released is a great to counteract Porphyria symptoms
• The endorphins released are a natural anti depressant and anti-anxiety chemical.

Conventional stretching is vital and recommended and if done correctly will make all the difference.

On a general note;
Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:

Stroke
Metabolic syndrome
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Depression
Anxiety
Many types of cancer
Arthritis
Falls

It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.
Research has shown the physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.

Remember though to start off slow especially if you haven't taken part in any activity, make sure to get your Doctor to give you the all clear if you are battling health issues before undertaking any exercise regimes.

*Refer to our Disclaimer Notice in full on the home page!

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