anyone with positive exercise experience?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sascha, May 5, 2010.

  1. sascha

    sascha Member

    i seem to be making some progress. sometimes it's one step forward, two steps back. sometimes quite a bit better than that.

    it's a constant focus of mine these days. hate atrophying- losing strength and functioning capacity. so much of that goes on with cfids.

    before, every exercise attempt seemed doomed to failure. tried yoga, wound up in PT, couldn't tolerate that-- that has always seemed to be my experience- that i JUST COULDN'T DO IT.

    at age 67, grandchildren came into my life. this pushed me into more physical activity than i thought i was capable of. i crashed A LOT. kept working to find balance of what would be safe expenditure of energy for me. often had PEM. kept at it because it was so important to me.

    what i found was that over time, i gained some muscle strength back. wow! amazing!

    i kept looking for bits of exercise i could do on my own that would gradually increase fitness. i believe that improved physical fitness will benefit me overall, especially as i age. it's a tricky road to navigate. i am up and down and all around with it BUT i am slowly slowly increasing physical strength and flexibility.

    i found waist twister disc. it's small, like pizza pie. i keep it (well now i have two of them) on floor in living room. i step on it and twist to level i can tolerate. i couldn't go past 30 secs at first. put me right into PEM. but i could do 30 twists (very gentle) back and forth to a count of 30 (approx 30 secs). and i spaced them out- would do it 4 times/day at spaced out intervals. now i can do a count of 40 four/five times/day. and i'm doing just a couple of strengthening moves on stability ball (it's a big exercise ball). and i stretch and do a couple of yoga moves on mat. i can tolerate this now. i'm very encouraged- feel empowered that i'm doing SOMETHING to stop the continuous loss of strength and functioning.

    it's not an easy road. i try the best i can to find my tolerance limit, and no matter how limited it is, i try to stay within it, be patient, and not try any more for quite a time. i fail, backslide, go into PEM from time to time, but i also experience progress and increased strength, and find that as i am able to do more with exercising, i am feeling stronger and more fit in daily life. this is just in very small increments, but it is happeneing. this is tremendously exciting and empowering for me. it's not easy, but i'm getting somewhere.

    i'm very intent on increasing my fitness level-- i don't care how long it takes me-- it seems to be helping with my overall cfids status, it really does.

    (the waist twister disc is something i read about online here; it was specifically recommended for cfids for various reasons, so i wanted to try it. can google and find places to order from, and it's not expensive)

    i wanted to share a bit of progress (amazing) and hear from others who are finding ways to benefit from exercise, no matter how little they can do. A LITTLE IS A LOT!!! best, Sascha
  2. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    Good for you, Sascha. I try to keep as active as I can according to how I feel each day, and I think that this is the reason that I sleep reasonably well at night. Dr Martin Pall feels that people with CFS who don't get any exercise, don't have any chance of getting any better.
  3. hollie9

    hollie9 New Member

    I stay away from aerobics except when I really feel good riding my bike or walking. That waist twister sounds too aerobic for me long term.

    I am currently doing Pilates on reformer machines, with instructor, to build strength. I have to build up to it and do have a relapse after every session (at least twice a week), but I know eventually relapses will stop and my CFS will improve.

    I know this because I did it with yoga. Had an instructor come to my home and was so red eyed every morning I worked out, and relapsed after every session. After 6 months or maybe less, I became very strong, no more relapses and my CFS greatly improved. I believe I got so strong it took less energy to do things. As a bonus, my 58 year old body completely reproportioned itself, got rid of stomach, got really toned.

    Then I had a bunch of surgery and got deconditioned. So now building up again with Pilates. I already have 6 pack abs and have lost inches all over from the 10 sessions I've done. I've really put on a lot of muscle.

    Before the Pilates I was doing a weight training (free weights) DVD at home that put muscle on me. I just seem to stick with it more with an instructor.

    My tolerance limit was very low at the beginning but kept getting higher the longer I worked out, so it constantly changes. I plan for relapses at the beginning so they don't discourage me. I do think non-aerobic weight/resistance training works best for my CFS. If I get my heart rate up while exercising I take a break for it to go down.

  4. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    What you said, that it's "a tricky road to navigate", is spot on!

    Exercise has always been a big part of my life. Before fibro, I was an exercise fanatic - 7 days a week. Now, it is more like 3 days a week on a good week. There are bad weeks where I don't get to go at all. But I keep at it as much as I can.

    The best exercise for me that actually feels good and doesn't increase my pain is swimming. I wish I could live in the water! But I do experience the post-exertional maliaise, unfortunately. That's why I only do it every other day at the most. On my "off" days, I consider piddling around my little garden, doing minimal housework or going to the grocery store my exercise.

    I wish I could do more because it definitely boosts my mood, which I need. I also desperately need to lose weight, which nothing seems to help.

    I will keep up my swimming until this dd or something else kills me.
  5. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    I am very happy with my rebounder. It is also recommended for CFIDS. One reason (there may be more) is that is get the lymph system to working. It is also very efficient exercise.

    I like it because I can use it when it is cold or raining or the air is pollen laden outside. It does not require any special shoes or clothes. I can only do the warm-ups and one simple exercise and only for a short amount of time. I alternate rebounding with stretches while on the rebounder. I don’t think I am gaining any strength, but at least I am maintaining condition.
  6. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I love doing the water therapy, or water aerobics. If you have never done them, you would be amazed on how easy it is to exercise in the water. When I do physical therapy, I always ask for the aqua therapy. After I had a total knee replacement, I did the water physical therapy.

    When at home sitting in my LazyBoy rocker, I do different leg lifts to keep my leg with the new knee conditioned, and to prepare my other knee for a total knee replacement sometime this year.

    The doctor also encouraged me to buy some 2 lb. weights to use to work out my arms with. I bought some and also use them different ways with my arms. Where I use a power wheelchair, my doctor knee that I wasn't able to get out to exercise anymore. He said if I stayed so inactive, I would eventually lose all my muscle strength. I know that he said if I could not find the 2 lb. weights, just use a couple cans of canned vegetables!
  7. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    yes i have positive experiences when i take it easy. like walking, swimming, water exercise, reallly low impact aerobic dance, and stretching, lite toning exercises.

    when i overdo- i can really get in a cfs flare. overdo for me is too long or too strenuous. i recently tried paddleboarding and it was too strenuuous and it made me really really sick for 2 weeks. fevers and everything.

    seems like exercise in moderation is the best thing for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    keep on keepin on
  8. Sheila1366

    Sheila1366 New Member

    I have some 5 pound hand weights and the thigh master. I do squats to build leg and butt muscle. 10 minutes is all I do. The squats will get your heart pumping. I still have pain no matter what but I have got to stay moving. I am overweight and lack tone. I want to feel better about myself despite FM. Not easy. Most days I am so tired but I tell myself I can do 10 minutes.
  9. sascha

    sascha Member

    and varied replies. i got a few more ideas from you all.

    right now i'm in phase where i can't do much, but i know i will get going again. even when i'm below operating threshold, though, i can still step on waist-twisting disc and do my 40 back and forth twists. it's motivating to keep at it because it FEELS GOOD- it MAKES ME FEEL BETTER. it seems to get something important going on in my mid-section.

    i get completely wiped out for a time after being with my twin grandchildren- them little scapers are always on the go- wanting to be lifted up and swung, and walked with, and whatnot. great fun- but i always wind up lying on couch for recovery time when i get back home.

    i am completely and totally convinced, though, that it's critically important to do constant upkeep on the physical being to the very best of my ability- just wasting away isn't an option. it's horrible to feel in constant decline, so even though it's difficult, i must do what i can to build strength, fitness, flexibility. good luck to us all on this quest!!! best, sascha

    [This Message was Edited on 05/13/2010]
  10. Denamay

    Denamay New Member

    Hi, Exercise is my source of relief. I am 71 years old old and the old body is full of fibro pain. If I miss my exercise the pain gets much worse. I attend a seniors exercise class and it is a lot of fun, good to have a laugh with your friends, produces endorphines [ good for pain]. Anyway I go for one hour twice a week. Arobics, strength training and streching, all very gentle, this has helped me a great deal. At first I couldn't do much, but you should see me now, not bad for an old girl.
    Exercise has NOT been a cure all but it sure has helped! Love Denamay
  11. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    We with CFS are often told to pace ourselves - to exercise, work, or engage in any physical activity for an appropriate time period for us and then rest. I find that it is also necessary to pace myself during the exercise, work, or whatever.

    I first noticed this with my walking. I could walk for 15 minutes without problem. Any attempt to go beyond that produced exhaustion. I finally realized that I have a very fast walk. By slowing down my walking pace, I was able to walk a greater distance. By stopping to sit down and rest during the walk, I can go farther still.

    I then noticed it with housework. Whenever I had the time and energy to do housework I would go at it full steam ahead until I got tired. I eventually realized that if I would work at a more moderate speed, I could get more done before I became tired. Doing anything that I can while sitting instead of standing will also prolong my work period.