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15 Memes That Nail What It's Like to Exercise With a Chronic Illness

Editor's Note

Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. Please consult a doctor or medical professional before beginning any new exercise regimens.

I don’t know if anyone would consider exercise “easy,” but for those with chronic illness, it can be especially difficult. When you’re dealing with serious symptoms like pain or fatigue, moving your body around is probably the last thing you feel like doing. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with exercise: Working out can actually help alleviate some of my symptoms, but if I’m already struggling and in the middle of a flare, hitting the gym is just not gonna happen. For some with chronic illness, certain types of exercise can actually have a negative impact on their health or trigger a flare-up, so it’s not always possible and/or medically advised to simply “push through” and work out. (Of course, there certainly are folks with chronic illness who work out regularly, and if that’s you, way to go!)

If you struggle to exercise because of your condition, you are not alone. Since humor can be such a powerful coping mechanism, we rounded up some memes that nail what it’s like to exercise (or try to exercise) when you’re chronically ill. No matter what your workouts look like, how frequent they are or how long they last, we think you’re a rockstar.


person: how is your exercise going? me, after literally 3 minutes of exercising: exercise is pain
via mememiya Tumblr


what I feel like I'm doing: main climbing mountain. what I'm actually doing: man walking up stairs
via impotsiblelife Tumblr


me: I'm exhausted. fitbit: you have taken 11 steps today.
via @the_blue_doe Instagram


me when I do something physically demanding: did everybody see that? because I will not be doing it again
via disabilityhealth Tumblr


when you go out for a jog but you barely make it to the car
via savagememesmaster Tumblr


when your friend asks you to go to the gym after work: but I already did something today!
via @tellmeyoulovememe Instagram


can't tell if sore from workout or seriously injured
via hardcorefitnessandwods Tumblr


I exercised once... nearly killed me
via @sleepysantosha Instagram


inside my body right now... muscles: I'm gonna get big and strong! tendons: f*** you. joints: no.
via Pinterest


when a doctor says all you need to do is exercise more (thumbs down)
via disabilityhealth Tumblr


you never realize how long a minute is until you're exercising
via @sunnynayray Instagram


I'll do hardcore exercise today! me after getting out of bed...
via @_meme_mafia Instagram


when someone brags about their exercise routine to me
via disabilityhealth Tumblr


"just exercise," they said
via @chronicillnessmemes Instagram


47 seconds into exercise... yeah, I can't do this
via @losingallbuthope Instagram
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