Zero to Hero: Chronic Illness Exercise Plan

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers  network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. 

Although I live with multiple chronic illnesses, I know that exercise is beneficial for my overall health.  After each new diagnosis, doctors have told me to participate in moderate exercise.  But, with each attempt to exercise, came more pain and flares.  The vicious cycle of exercise, flare, recover seemed impossible to overcome.

I want to exercise and feel strong like I did when my health was better.  Working out was a natural part of my life in my teens, twenties and thirties.  In my fourth decade, I kept going to the gym, but exercise started to make me feel worse.  I felt weaker, had pain, and was easily fatigued.  It wasn't long before the doctors were discovering that I had autoimmune problems, osteoarthritis, and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  

These problems brought pain and fatigue that made exercise seem like it would never happen again for me.  It was hard to face the fact that my history of aerobic exercise was no longer something I could do.  But, the longer time went on, the more out-of-shape and heavy I became.  

Stretch


When I heard about the Pilates program, Zero to Hero, I was really encouraged!  Any program that started at Zero, was certainly for me.  My fitness level was definitely Zero.  This program was designed to work for those of us with chronic illness, especially fibromyalgia and arthritis.  Because my symptoms from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome are the same as many fibro symptoms, I was very hopeful that I could try this program.

Zero to Hero was created by Megan Densmore, who herself suffers from fibromyalgia.  But, you would never know it now!  She started at Zero, with a goal of getting back to being an athlete.  She has certainly reached her goal, and now is sharing with us how to also get fit.  

Megan's program, Zero to Hero, is entirely online.  For chronic illness sufferers, this is exactly what we need.  Traveling to and from the gym can take all our energy.  Megan's online program gives everything that is needed to start exercising at level Zero and gradually increase our fitness level upwards.

I've been so impressed with the easy-to-follow online site.  She's set up the exercises on her well-organized website.  She gives a clear, methodical approach that anyone can follow.  The short videos are wonderful and she guides us through one thing at a time.  She will talk you through each movement and help you to have correct form, too.

I've been very pleased that the exercise videos are very short in the beginning stages and leave you wanting to do more.  There is none of the "no-pain-no-gain" mentality here.  And, Megan has been great to work with me to customize any of the exercises.  Sometimes having a bad shoulder or hip makes completing the movements painful.  If something like this happens, Megan has been there to modify the movement or work to make it easier.  

Megan Densmore

There is also a wonderful Facebook group to join.  There are great Facebook videos posted often by Megan.  Sometimes she's showing an exercise modification to help us.  And, there are many video chats where she is offering motivation and encouragement to not give up.  This is so helpful and important for those of us with chronic illnesses.  So many times, we're not able to function and we need motivation to keep trying.  Although we know that the exercise will help, putting forth the effort can sometimes seem impossible.

I have gone through a few of the exercise stages, and have many more to go.  I would love to say that I've made quick progress, but I haven't.  During the last few months, I've spent many days in the doctors office or hospital for much testing.  Since this is common for chronic illness patients, I don't let myself get discouraged for very long.  We have to keep fighting for our health.  

I can't say it strongly enough that this exercise program helps me.  When I complete one of the videos, I feel so much better.  The gentle movements feel great and I've never had any pain.  My goals are to continue the Zero to Hero program and move forward to new levels as I can.  I never feel bad that I'm at a low level now, because just being on this fitness journey is enough.  

Being at level Zero is discouraging and takes away your hope.  But, just knowing that Zero is the beginning, gives me so much hope and confidence that I won't always be at the beginning.  This truth works as long as I keep doing the exercises.  This is exactly what I plan to do.

The Zero to Hero plan is a 12-month online program.  You can visit Megan's site and learn all about all the benefits.  She also has a free-sample for you.  You can get 3 free sample exercises to try for yourself.  She also offers a complimentary nutritional consultation!

If you have trouble exercising, have chronic illness or injury, or just feel like you're at Fitness Level Zero, check out Zero to Hero.  I think you may just find what you're looking for.
@2017, copyright Lisa Ehrman




Comments

  1. Wonderful that you would make this so available to so many sufferers

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    1. Thank you, Ronald! I love the program :)

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  2. What a wonderful program! This kind of exercise is not only great for chronic pain but also for the feeling of well being. These are great stretches! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Sounds perfect for those who are starting out exercising. I've always been interested in Pilates but it intimidates me. this sounds like a great way to ease into it!

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    1. Yes, you can start as slowly as you need or want to go. I'm a fan!

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  4. This is z great read. I have Lyme disease and love to try new things.

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    1. Well, this is an easy program to start slow and then make steady progress :)

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  5. This is great. I live with alot of pain and I think this may help me alot. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless

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    1. You're so welcome. It's been the only thing I can do, with my pain.

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  6. I have chronic pain due to nerve damage and I find exercise to be really helpful in managing it.

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    1. It's great that you're exercising and that this helps you.

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  7. i have chronic illness too and i really need to get into better shape, this is amazing.

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    1. It's so hard to do when you're dealing with chronic illness, but this program is for us :)

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  8. This sounds perfect for me. I'm 52 and somedays I can barely get out of bed. Arthritis, degenerative disk, hips and spine hurt nearly all the time. Sciatic pain. Thanks for the review. I think I'll give this a try.

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    1. You sound a lot like me, and it helps me. I hope you find great results :)

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  9. This sounds just amazing!! I love that you can do it from home and go at your own pace. As awful as chronic illness is, exercise can absolutely help your quality of life!!

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  10. Oh my goodness! I need to try this. As a stay at home mom with 3 kids I need something I can do at home! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ’–

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