Spoonie Pathway: Gentle Exercise Videos for Those Living a Chronic Life

Gentle Exercise Videos for Those Living a Chronic Life - Fit2B.comIs exercising regularly challenging for you due to chronic pain and low energy? Are you trying to workout with sickness like Hashimotos, endometriosis, lupus/SLE, thyroid imbalance, MS, adrenal fatigue, SPD, or another condition that means mainstream workouts could leave you exhausted for days?

The gentle, progressive approach to fitness that I teach here on Fit2B has helped hundreds dealing with “invisible illness.” People come for the easy workouts that don’t leave them debilitated, and they stay for the sustainability and support that our tribe fosters.

I’ve put together a workout pathway just for “Spoonies” that you’ll find below, and it’s all thanks to their encouragement within a beautiful thread in our private member forum. Not being a fan of rigid programs, and preferring to call my progressive workout suggestions “pathways,” I hope you’ll see how it’s full of suggestions from my clients who get it, who know what works on “single spoon” days.

Are You A Spoony?

If you struggle to explain your invisible illness to your family and friends, a beautiful analogy that resonates with many Fit2B members is The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino.

“I am recovering from adrenal exhaustion and my adult daughter has Hashimotos and the spoon theory has been super helpful for us. There were nights I’d say what I had enough spoons for and we’d decide who could do other things and what would have to wait. It was so important in healing and finding a new, better normal.” —Stephanie S.

The original request for this pathway came through our private member forum as frustrated feedback with an aerobics routine I’d labeled as basic… only it didn’t feel basic at all to this chronic life client, and so she was looking for more gentle routines. Other “spoonie” Fit2B members chimed in to guide her toward easier routines, and one of them asked me directly to put all their favorite routines being listed right there in that thread into one place,

I became excited at the clear direction they were giving me, and I knew this was a need that Fit2B could meet.

You see, using all their energy on strenuous workouts isn’t possible when you have a chronic illness, and you don’t always have the focus to hunt through our massive library of workouts to find the right one for when you finally have the energy to exercise

I am so excited to honor their request for a pathway of manageable workouts. Those dealing with fibromyalgia, neuropathy, parkinson’s, adrenal fatigue, thyroid disorder, and the other invisible illnesses I listed above {and many more I haven’t listed} have a lot of hurdles that hinder their ability to exercise regularly, and I want to do everything I can to make it easier for them.

“I have Hashimotos and weak adrenals. I used to go to the gym with my husband, but I was useless afterward. I told him, I have one ounce of energy left. I can spend it at the gym, or I can make dinner. It’s frustrating to have to budget your energy like a handful of pennies.” —Christine H.

Gentle Exercise Videos for Those Living a Chronic Life - Fit2B.com

Workout Pathway For Spoonies

The following workouts are bespoken, specifically recommended by members of Fit2B who deal with chronic fatigue and pain, and curated personally by me, Beth, the founder of Fit2B Studio. I’ve elected to divide them into subsections based on the direct “spoony” quotes that recommended them because this truly is their pathway they made for each other. 

Breathing & Meditation

“Another thing that would be great would be a note of which videos have longer guided breathing/meditation at the end with a time stamp of where to start. I love the ones that have you take in the good things in your day and release the things you can’t control. Learning to manage stress well is so critical for making the most of the energy you have.” —Rachel M.

Free on YouTube: Basic Breath Work - 11:54

Bedtime Relaxation with Kelly - 13:14

Bedtime Meditation - Starting at 0:50

Gentle Blend - Starting at 26:38

Peaceful Blend - Starting at 33:45

Coordinating Your Core

“Also important to consider is that for many of us, when we don’t feel well, posture and breathing are first to go. The F5 has some of the MOST important stuff for chronic whatever-ers (lupus here) and really helps me to *recover* some energy, especially TT1 and Transitions.” —Laura M.

“The Basic Transverse and MB was my go to on tired days years ago. I also like the basic breath work, the restorative pose series, the neck routine, and the original pelvic floor connections. Seated Pilates and yoga are good too.” —Rachel M.

Foundational Five - F5

Core Wake Up - 4:17

Basic Transverse & Mula Bandha - 9:23

Pelvic Floor Connections* - 22:06

Totally Transverse - Original Version - 9:43

Transitions - 16:54

Simply Stretching

“I have chronic fatigue and yes its hard. I avoid the aerobics and stick to gentle yoga and the relaxation pathway (huge part of healing for me). Typical video length 5-10min. That seems to be my limit and I’ve maintained my core strength for the last 2 years. I’ve even trained for a 12k race walk (I was toast for the week afterwards) during that period.” —Chris C.

Relaxation Pathway

Restorative Poses Series

Wall Yoga - 13:05

Mellow Slow Flow - 19:15

Warrior Workout 1 - 12:26

The Neck Routine - 14:25

Managing More Motion

“The five-minute workouts are good, too. I almost always have enough energy for five minutes.” —Jeanie P.

Free on YouTube: 5-Minute Routines

Seated Exercise Routines

Tai Chi Inspired Core - 11:38

Walking Workout - 18:11

Yoga for SPD - 12:29

Classic Flow A - 13:29


One of the reasons I’ve stuck with Fit2B for five years is because you are the only instructor I’ve seen who says ‘listen to your body’ ‘it’s okay to slow down’ ‘pain is telling you to back off,’ etc. ‘Taking charge’ of my own attitudes about my body’s limitations has had a positive effect overall, similar to taking charge of one’s health through setting fitness goals.” —Jeannie P.

“I’m about to restart these exercises for the first time since being diagnosed with MS. I never understood why I would work out for a few days in a row and then be so wiped out I couldn’t move for a week. For me I think giving myself grace and spacing out workouts is key. As well as focusing on form rather than pumping out as much as I can. I need to function as a wife and mom so using all my energy on a workout isn’t a good idea.” —Tara L.

The Thread That Inspired This Path

“Hey Beth, forgive me if you’ve addressed this before: Would you consider doing a Workout Path or list of workouts geared towards people with chronic fatigue/chronic illness? I felt like doing a workout after my morning coffee (rare for me) so I tried Basic Aerobics II, attracted by the words “basic” and “easy”. I did slow down and modify, but I am still TOAST, exhausted and shaky and just want to take a nap. I feel like trying to get a workout in was a terrible decision, as I have a lot of chores to do and I am wiped out. It’s hard not to get down listening to you suggest that this easy, basic workout is a great warm up for other workouts when it took all my strength… I am 31, not overweight or completely sedentary, I walk fairly regularly, but I struggle endometriosis and chronic fatigue, so I have to ration my energy. I know you have other workouts that aren’t as draining, so I was just wondering if you’d consider something beyond the “easy” label and take into consideration the overall energy output required for a workout for those of us who have to carefully ration our strength. Trying hard not to feel pathetic… It’s definitely me and not you, but this is why exercising is such a challenge for me, I feel like I have to save all my energy for my mom/wife duties and can’t spare a lot for self care.” —Natalie M.

Basic Aerobics I & II

Note: I will be re-filming this Basic Aerobics routine to be even more gentle and progressive toward BA2, thanks to the feedback we have received. I have also reworded the lingo on the workout page to be more inclusive.

You see, here on Fit2B you’ll find a community that truly cares about you. Our heart is for those who have a hard time working out, those who need to exercise at home, and we want to help make it easier, more enjoyable, even fun and relaxing. Because life is hard enough without making your workout something you dread and hate, something that hurts you.

While our main specialty is fitness for people with diastasis recti and other core and pelvic floor weakness or dysfunction, we understand that those issues often go hand in hand with other illness or trauma.

If you have been avoiding exercise because it’s always been presented to you in difficulty, painful ways, please give a membership with Fit2B a try and learn how fitness can feel good, gentle, even relaxing. We have streaming workout videos for everyone!

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Gentle Exercise Videos for Those Living a Chronic Life - Fit2B.com - #spoonie #spoonies #spoonieproblems #chronicillness #chroniclife #chronicfatigue #multiplesclerosis #chroniclife #migraines #migrainelife #fitness #fitnesshacks #healthy #fitmom #fitmama

8 thoughts on “Spoonie Pathway: Gentle Exercise Videos for Those Living a Chronic Life

  1. Julia Irvin says:

    I am SO excited to see this pathway! This is exactly the kind of pathway I have wanted the past few years, but didn’t even think to ask for. My strength, stamina and endurance are much improved lately, so I am exercising with Fit2b more, but I am glad to see this for the days I have no spoons to spare. This takes the brain work out of it for us! Thanks so much, Beth! Just one more way you are watching out for us, as you do so well.

  2. JacQueline Roe says:

    Even though this was posted weeks ago, I keep coming back to it to find things that help me on difficult days. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone in wanting to strengthen my body without harming it, especially during this complicated time of illness in my life. Thank you, thank you!

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  5. Jennifer Henke says:

    I was just about to write an email to ask about easing back into health after a long term illness. I’m still dealing with daily headaches and fatigue but want to use any spoons I have to try to build back up to a strong body (Lord willing!). A friend had just told me about “spoonies”, so this pathway caught my eye (God is just so good like that…to lead us to what we need!!). Thank you so much for putting this pathway together, it’s such a blessing. I’m praying it will continue to encourage many more!

  6. Terah Madrid says:

    I am so excited to find this pathway! I have been using Fit2B for several years and most consistently for just this year (2020). I have had chronic pain and illness for over 10 years and one thing I love about Fit2B is how encouraging and realistic the workouts are. But, my body often can’t handle what I want to be doing. I regularly spend time looking for the most gentle, relaxing and helpful workouts for my tired body – but now I find them all listed right here! Thank you for this! And thank you for being willing to come along side of all of us who need a little less, not more.

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