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To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (14–20 May), leading professional fitness training provider Future Fit Training reveals the harsh reality of what it feels like to live with chronic health conditions and physical and mental effect it can have on individuals.

What it feels like to have…” presents a range of striking, symbolic imagery that illustrates how conditions such as anxiety, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease impacts the lives of sufferers.

The visual depicts the physical, emotional and mental impact of the chronic condition Raynaud’s syndrome. Affecting around ten million people in the UK, Raynaud’s condition manifests itself when Sufferers’ arteries spasm resulting in reduced blood flow to certain areas, causing white or blue fingers that feel numb and painful.

The autoimmune disease Lupus attacks healthy tissue in many parts of the body. It manifests itself differently in every person, although Lupus symptoms commonly include painful and swollen joints, fever, chest pain, mouth ulcers, fatigue and a red rash on the face.

More than 1 in 10 people are likely to have a disabling anxiety disorder at some stage in their life. Sufferers experience a constant feeling of anxiety and dread about almost anything, making it hard for them to be around people, hold a job and manage relationships.

This invisible condition can affect people physically with muscle tension, headaches, shortness of breath, a racing heartbeat, sweating, digestive problems and insomnia.

Fibromyalgia is a condition that is generally not well-understood by medical professionals, even though it affects an estimated 800,000 people in the UK alone. Characterised by chronic pain, overwhelming exhaustion referred to as “fibro-fatigue”, low quality sleep and memory and concentration problems (sometimes referred to as “fibro-fog”). The symptoms of fibromyalgia may manifest themselves suddenly, leaving the sufferer incapacitated.

Rob Johnson, Future Fit Training’s founder and Managing Director, said: “We want to raise awareness of a range of conditions which affect so many people in the UK, and which may not necessarily be obvious in the first instance.

“Whilst some of the imagery may appear harrowing, we want to firmly illustrate the pain and impact on mental health caused by these chronic health conditions.”

Johnson continues: “You may not necessarily realise that the person sitting next to you on the bus or walking past you in the street is coping with such difficult challenges on a daily basis.

“At Future Fit Training, through our specialist Nutrition Adviser, Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer courses, we place a huge emphasis on the importance of healthy eating and regular exercise.

“We fully recognise both of these as being of paramount importance and a proven remedy to help improve physical and mental well-being.”

Disclaimer: This is an amended press release from Future Fit Training.