I’m Waiting No Longer to Start a Fitness Program and Get Into Shape

Columnist Jennifer Lynne has spent most of the year wondering how to start exercising

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by Jennifer Lynne |

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The end of 2022 is rapidly approaching, and I’ve made nary a dent in my fitness and diet goals for this year. Oh, sure, I have a ton of excuses — like my foot that swells up when I walk more than a mile — but there really is no excuse. I know I don’t get enough exercise, but I’ve done very little to change the situation, aside from my weekend bike ride, which I call “biking for bagels.”

I’m constantly battling my bleeding disorders and terrified of falling off my bike or twisting an ankle. A slight movement in the wrong direction can cause painful swelling and bleeding in a joint. But something needs to change, and it needs to change now.

As I lay awake on a sagging hotel mattress during a recent trip, I decided I could wait no longer. So at 2 a.m., I rented a Peloton bike through the company’s new rental program. The Peloton bike is an indoor cycling bike with a fancy touch-screen tablet. It’s like a spin bike, but much nicer, and I won’t fall off. With the rental, I can access hundreds of Peloton classes, both live and recorded.

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The bike arrived today, and I’m beyond excited, but afraid of not keeping up with a consistent fitness program. I don’t want to be one of the thousands of people who purchased a Peloton during the pandemic and now have a very expensive clothes hanger in their homes.

For motivation, I reflected on a conversation I had this year with L.A. Aguayo. Aguayo, 34, has severe hemophilia B and competes in international bodybuilding competitions. He’s an elite athlete, author, and online fitness coach. Fitness is a large part of his life, despite his hemophilia.

Here is a short excerpt from our chat via Zoom in April:

JL: Why is fitness necessary to you as a person with hemophilia?

LAA: Fitness will always be a big part of my life. I know how I can change my life with fitness and nutrition. I’m as strong as I’ve ever been because fitness is helping me.

What suggestions do you have for someone with a bleeding disorder who wants to become more active? 

Start small. I’ve gotten injured and had significant setbacks, and I had to restart the process. Start with 15 minutes and slowly progress. Don’t go from zero to 100 miles per hour. Just let the process happen and become a lifestyle. You have to choose it because it makes your life better.

A lot of it is mindset. Do things that trigger good habits, like setting out your gym clothes the night before. A trigger could be a thought. For example, if you think, “I’m not going to the gym,” that could be your trigger to go to the gym.

Never miss a scheduled infusion. As I push myself to stay an elite athlete, I have to infuse two to three times a week. As I get closer to a show, I’ve noticed that my body becomes more vulnerable to bleeds. Like yesterday, I barely bumped my elbow, and that caused me to have to push through a painful internal bleed in my elbow.

Thank you, L.A.! My fitness program starts today. Follow and message L.A. Aguayo on Instagram: @chronic_physique.

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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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