Kathy Dueck

Fitness allows me to enjoy life again

Sure, a trim, toned body is nice, but that’s not the only thing that motivates Kathy Dueck to work out two to three times a week. Cardio, Swiss ball work and stretching help her manage the chronic pain, stiffness and fatigue caused by fibromyalgia. Today, she’s leaner and stronger than she was before she was diagnosed in 1996.

Initially Dueck allowed the condition to stop her from doing the things she loved, such as hiking and lifting weights. But she got tired of feeling stiff and out of shape. “I was sick of struggling to bend over enough to tie my shoes,” she says. So, she began attending a fitness class for people with fibromyalgia and arthritis twice a week near her Calgary home. “It’s not like I went from bed-ridden to superwoman overnight, but walking was so much easier,” she says. These days, she’s added weekly sessions with a personal trainer to her routine and enjoys hikes on the trails around Canmore and Banff. “I have my bad days, sure, but my attitude is, ‘if I’m going to have pain and stiffness no matter what, I might as well enjoy life!'”

Her advice to you: try and stay as active as possible while knowing your limitations. And don’t forget the side benefits of fitness such as feeling happier, healthier and more energized!

Get Chatelaine in your inbox!

Our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers. Delivered a couple of times a week.