A thin man wearing workout clothes determinedly walks against a background of muscular, toned people running or biking.

Staying Active When You Have Hepatitis C

The word "activity" has a different meaning to everyone. As someone who has always appreciated the idea that some activity is good, how I define that is shaped by the context of my own physical and emotional wellbeing. Whether the activity is simple or complex, difficult or easy, it really make no real difference. If we have even some level of activity, it is usually better than none at all.

Skewed perceptions of what healthy looks like

Have you thought of others, or yourself, as being lazy? Have you felt that others judged you in that way? None of this is so unusual in our society, as we are bombarded with ideal versions of how we should look and live as part of a healthy, or so-called full, life.

How hepatitis C affects the body

In the context of hepatitis C, our ability to be active can be challenged by the effect of the virus on our energy and stamina. There were times in my own journey when making it across the room without falling down was a victory. I saw my leg muscles atrophy to the point where all I saw was tissue hanging on bone. Could I have done more to prevent the atrophy? Not at that time, no way; It was, without question, beyond my ability, but that did not make me appear weak or less strong as a person.

It is your life to live, be active as you can

We see people in various states in our daily lives. Do they look like the models we see in advertising? For most, probably not. Are they overweight or thin, sick-looking or weak? Of course. We see all kinds of people in all sorts of states. We are all capable of using unrealistic standards to measure beauty or wellness and all the rest. Such judgement, I think, is in part a natural human thing and only made worse by the ads and popular culture too.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe some level of activity is good and we know that too much weight can cause us some health problems, but so can being underweight. Activity is not all about weighing the so-called ideal weight, nope, not al all. If people judge you or me for being outside that version of ideal, it really is their problem.

If you are able, try to move as much as you can because it is healthy, but do it for you. You may feel better and in the process, improve your overall health. For hepatitis C, it may even relieve some of your symptoms.

Start small and build on what level of comfort you have. It is not a race or competition, unless you choose that path and some have, and that is ok too. Make sure if you are planning any strenuous activity to check with your healthcare provider, just to be sure you are not putting yourself at any risk. Move in a way that best suits you, because it is about you and for you.

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