There are over 1.5 billion people on the planet who struggle with chronic pain. Living with conditions like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and migraines is a confusing and frustrating struggle. Living with a non-stop, seemingly untreatable pain may lead to other health issues like depression and insomnia. Completely understandable, right? Not only that, but when it hurts to move, it’s difficult to go out and run errands, let alone hit the gym… and then you’re at risk for developing chronic diseases that result from an inactive lifestyle, like heart disease and diabetes. And then there’s the opioid crisis. Traditional medications used to rid people of pain, when you’re dealing with chronic pain, could lead to a life of addiction. A nightmare scenario… Needless to say, living with chronic pain can be uh… stressful. It’s not hopeless though!! Regular exercise can help reduce stress, boost your mood, and improve your quality of sleep - all things that people with chronic disease often struggle with. Not only that, exercise can actually help to reduce the pain itself. With certain conditions, like arthritis, researchers have found that strength training at least twice a week is an incredibly effective way to both reduce pain and improve quality of life. In my experience with clients who battle chronic pain, while a particular workout might feel fantastic one week, it may feel like absolute shit the next… that’s just the nature of these conditions, but it’s nothing to be discouraged about. Consistency is key, and it will get better if you stay consistent. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, do your research about what exercise methods will best help with your condition, and know that: each day you’ll have to play by ear; it’ll be trial and error; just keep an open mind and always be flexible. If you commit to regular exercise with that mindset, your quality of life will improve in ways you never imagined!