Philippa Managed a Chronic Illness to Stay Healthy and Strong

May 26, 2020 - 5 minutes read

How Philippa leveraged a personalized approach to manage her illness and maintain an active lifestyle.

What made you decide to start working with a personal trainer?

I decided to work with a personal trainer because I was looking for some guidance, some expertise, and something that would help me be more consistent with my workouts. I wanted to improve my fitness in a more confident way.

Why is exercise important to you?

I’ve always really enjoyed participating in sports and different activities but, having suffered from a chronic illness, there have been times in my recent years when it’s been challenging to do the things I wanted to do or to be able to rely on my body to function the way it used to.

When I was having a lot of difficulty finding a way to continue having exercise in my life, I really came to realize how important it was to be active on a regular basis to help manage stress levels and maintain my overall health and mental well-being.

What were your biggest concerns before you started exercising regularly?

Some of the biggest concerns I had toward leading an active lifestyle revolved around how I was going to make it a priority in my life. I also wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t get hurt or somehow damage my health while I was struggling with joint problems and I was worried about doing too much or doing the wrong things while I was working out.

If I’m honest, I was also afraid that I might not be able to perform at the level I wanted to or thought I should be able to. I was scared that it would be really disappointing.

How has Alive & Well helped you overcome those challenges?

Working with Alive & Well has enabled me to exercise with consistency and has provided a really interesting environment in which to keep challenging myself and learning. It’s so helpful to have some guidance and support through this process with someone who is designing your program in a really thoughtful and knowledgeable way.

I’ve just really enjoyed the process so much and I’ve loved feeling that I’m progressing and setting goals and that we’re achieving them together. There’s a sense of building upon the things you’ve been learning and, when you start to feel you have a repertoire of exercises that you can mix and match and play with, it really builds your confidence and has made me feel far more empowered.

As I incrementally increased my activity, my concerns lessened and my confidence increased. It became a much more fun experience to be active and I’ve started to take pleasure in the specifics of exercise, which has really changed things for me.

What do you find yourself doing now that you never thought you would be able to do?

Now I find myself doing a lot of things that I hadn’t really imagined myself being able to do. It’s kind of exciting when I think about the ease with which I’m throwing myself into new things – like I recently started learning to play tennis, which is something I’ve always been intrigued by but have been too afraid to try. I also started skiing again over the past two years, which is something I’d done as a younger kid but hadn’t touched in probably 10 years.

I’m constantly shocked at what I can do now and I’ve just felt a lot more brave and emboldened to try sports and activities that seem appealing to me. I feel now that my body will be able to do more, which is so fun and is something I’m very very grateful for.