During the past few weeks of lockdown my fatigue levels have shot through the roof. Where I used to flag around 3pm and hit a wall at around 5 (conveniently coinciding with the kids’ needing to be fed and bathed…) I am now hitting the wall nearer to 1pm and flagging even earlier. I’m not particularly surprised; I’ve always been aware that days spent lounging result in a feeling of intense lethargy that is often impossible to shift, at least for the likes of me (I’ve never been good at doing nothing).
It’s a controversial stance for someone with MS to take – for some, the idea that being more physically active can give you more energy is taboo. But I know I am not alone in believing in the benefits of exercise and of keeping active as much as possible. That’s not to say that I don’t suffer with bouts of crippling fatigue or that I am able to keep on keeping on, far from it, but my fatigue levels are, without question, better on my more active days.
This troubling sense of enervation prompted me to take action. I can use this period of enforced confinement to lounge around eating biscuits and drinking wine in between home-schooling the kids and taking (unwanted) naps, or I can use this unique opportunity to get pumped, get active and finally ditch this awful lethargy in favour of some energy. Put another way, I can either get fit or get fat.
Dusting off my old workout DVDs, I very confidently cleared the floor, grabbed my kettlebell and braced myself for a short, but intense, set of resistance exercises.
I’m not going to lie, it was bloody hard work. I had to pause the workout several times to recover and made pretty shoddy work of some of the routine, but I did it. And what’s more, despite my aching muscles and all over heaviness, I felt rejuvenated and alive with a different kind of energy that has been well and truly lacking of late.