The Value of a Gym Membership for Someone with Chronic Illness

Jared Formalejo avatar

by Jared Formalejo |

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After over a year without a gym membership, my wife, Cza, and I are back in our lifting den.

We do it for fun and, of course, fitness. I’ve had several injuries during the past few months, all of which I can associate with the lack of physical exercise due to the many new responsibilities on our plate. We’ve been pushing ourselves to succeed in entrepreneurship. In fact, we’re in the process of planning another enterprise. We’ve also just become parents to an adorable little bundle of joy, but I am in no way blaming our inability to exercise or go to the gym on either of those developments.

For us, it’s all a matter of prioritization. Cza and I are parents now, and we have a business to run, not only for us but for our baby girl as well. We need to spend as much time as possible raising her to be secure, kind, and unafraid of the world. After all, she won’t always be a baby, so it’s important that we make the most of all that cuteness. We’ve had to let go of a lot of the pleasures that we used to indulge in — expensive dates, clothes, and treats. We’ve also had to focus on things that are good for us in the long term: our daughter’s growth and maturity, our financial security, and, of course, fitness.

I’m very open about my love for fitness. Cza and I bonded over exercise and grew close in the first months we were dating as gym buddies, so it’s a big deal for us to be back at it again. Exercise has made a huge difference in my life as a person with hemophilia. Our lack of a gym membership gave me a grim flashback to my youth — I was too afraid to exercise and would have a bleed every week or two. My push toward fitness eventually made once every two weeks into once in a blue moon.

I initially thought that it might not be a wise investment, considering that our daughter, Cittie, is a baby, and she has needs that have to be met — needs that are both expensive and time-consuming. A gym membership could have bought us a big box of milk for Cittie. The money scared me, but I also felt like I failed Cittie as a father whenever I experienced a bleed, as I could not be present or even hold her in my arms.

A long-term investment that eases my chronic illnesses is definitely worth the money. It would be an investment in my ability to help and take care of my wife and baby girl.

When it comes to my illnesses, things have been going well. I’ve already started having milder seizures since becoming a father. I wouldn’t want to endanger that progress by regressing to an injury-prone state. It wouldn’t be wise of me to avoid investing in my physical well-being. More importantly, being healthy gives me a better opportunity to do even more for my family.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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