The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Episode #12: Step 6: Move – Our Stories

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Welcome to The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Season 1! We’ve created this podcast as a free resource to accompany our upcoming book, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness.

Episode #12: Step 6: Move – Our Stories is an episode dedicated to talking about our histories with exercise, as well as, where we are today in this area of our lives. We start with discussion of what it was like when we first realized we were losing physical ability as our autoimmune struggles deepened. Next we move on to exploring the two ends of the movement spectrum, too little and too much, and where each of were pre-diagnosis versus where we are today. We also chat about our movement routines before we got sick and our routines now. We wrap up with a look at why we believe walking is ideal for those with autoimmune disease and how we gauge if we are under or overdoing it with movement. This episode is a chance for listeners to understand totally opposite sides of the movement conundrum that those with autoimmune disease face.

If you want to know more about why exactly the balance with exercise and autoimmune disease is such a fine one, check out the section, “Why Is Exercise Difficult for Those with Autoimmune Disease” in Chapter 6. This section adds a little science background to this issue.

How to listen:

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Show Notes:

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:29 Opening the Move topic
  • 2:25 Angie shares what it was like to realize she was losing physical ability due to illness
    • She recognized her body no longer had additional energy reserves for workout routines.
    • Experienced a lot of shame with not being able to keep up with others.
  • 4:58 Mickey shares what it was like to realize she was losing physical ability due to illness
  • 6:58 Both Mickey and Angie describe the fear that came with muscle wasting
  • 8:08 Mickey talks about exercise obsession pre-diagnosis
    • This was the result of her lacking other more appropriate stress management tools.
  • 10:30 Angie’s struggle with moving too little
  • There are complex barriers for those who move too little with autoimmune disease:
    • Fears/Shame
    • Incorrect intensity level
    • Fatigue
    • Injury
    • Pain
    • Overwhelm
  • 13:30 Mickey’s exercise routine pre-diagnosis
    • Biking over 100 miles/week
    • Running/gym/yoga 3x/week
    • Multiple routines per day
    • Cardio-obsession
    • She feels she used this to “numb” herself.
  • 15:58 Angie’s exercise routine pre-diagnosis
    • Hiking
    • Backpacking
  • 16:42 Angie’s exercise routine now
    • Walking
  • 17:18 Mickey’s exercise routine now
    • Walking
    • Horseback riding
    • Yoga
    • Touching on the negative cultural messages about how intense exercise needs to be
  • 19:24 Why walking is so great for those with autoimmune disease?
  • 27:23 How we assess where the “line” is for physical activity
  • 30:20 Your homework for Step 6, Move!
    • Try out the “Where Are You on the Movement Spectrum” self-test in Chapter 6 of The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook to assess how much attention this area of your healing journey needs.
  • 31:15 Outro

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Check out the previous episode, Episode #11: Jason Handler, Lac. on Stress Management, and the next episode, Episode #13: Noelle Tarr, NTP on Autoimmune-Friendly Movement. For the full podcast archive, click here.

About Grace Heerman

Grace Heerman is a writer, content coach and yoga teacher from Seattle. Grace designs websites and creates content that capture how great her clients are so they can effectively and authentically share their expertise with the world. Here at Autoimmune Wellness, Grace writes book reviews, manages blog content, and organizes social media publishing. She splits her time between living in Seattle with her friends, Minnesota with her family, and Asia, where she likes to spend the winter months. You can find out where she is now on Instagram and learn more about how she balances work and travel on her website, Said with Grace.


  • Helene says

    Hello… I listened to the podcast about exercise for autoimmune and found it useful to gauge my own levels. prior to Hashimoto’s diagnosis I was on the too much exercise end of the spectrum and find it very hard not to go there… I teach pilates, yoga and Yamuna Body Rolling as a personal trainer… so you can imagine the push to look the part is definitely there. Yamuna Body Rolling has been a life saver for me! If I don’t roll I do feel like an old lady (I’m 59)… but when I do take the time to do it it feels amazing and I’m pain free even when I do exercise quite a bit. I’ve also recently started attending Whole Body Vibration classes and found those to be great too. I don’t need to do a lot on the machine to feel better once I’m done. You may want to explore those to modes (YBR and WBV) and share your experience with our fellow autoimmune folks. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR INFORMATION and most importantly SUPPORT.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Helene! Thanks for sharing, and I am so happy you found a routine that works for you! I haven’t taken rolling classes, but I do work out with a foam roller regularly and LOVE it! Thanks for the tips!

  • Katja says

    <3 Thank you for this lovely podcast!
    I found myself in what you have been saying so much! The slow decline of capabilities, the shame about failing in yoga-classes (for me it was more often Pilates, but really: it's the same), not being able to get to work on the bike like I used to (I loved the idea it was the bike!! – for me I put it on the other route with a hill more in it – until I did the old route again one day – well: rather tried to…). I have already found out: walking is best for me and I love it, too. In the middle of Berlin in Germany I am lucky to live right next to a park! Love the idea of thinking up routes of different lengths. And not being scared of the cold anymore (Hashimoto, too) but dressing cleverly!
    Thank you so much, the love you put in definitely came across the Atlantic!

    • Angie Alt says

      Thank you so, so much for listening & sharing Katja!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Thanks for listening Katja! Happy walking! 😉

  • Jenna Schoenbachler says

    In your opinion, would it be wiser to start the elimination diet prior to seeing a doctor or naturopath vice versa?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jenna! I think it is always a good idea to have your doctor informed of any dietary changes you make before you do them, if you have the option!


  • […] out the previous episode, Episode #12: Step 6: Move – Our Stories, and the next episode, Episode #14: Step 7: Connect – Our Stories. For the full podcast archive, […]

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