"Exercise" to do while bedbound?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by frankie78, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. frankie78

    frankie78 New Member

    Does anyone know where I can find out about very low-key "exercise" or strength training to do while lying down? I'm couch-bound, and have found myself getting extremely de-conditioned since my relapse in January. I'd like to stop this muscle atrophy, and maybe help build up my muscle if possible, but any "exercise" has to be able to be done while on the floor, bed, couch, etc., and not be too strenuous.

    I'm sure there are other people in the same situation. Has anyone found a way around this problem, or figured out a system on their own?

    Any ideas would be appreciated!!

    Frankie
  2. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    There is a dvd I have called 'Yoga in Bed' which is a nice way to get some movement/stretching in on days when it's difficult to get moving.
  3. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member


    I was once bedridden like you. Constant pain, severe weakness, saw stars if I even moved suddenly or bent over at all (from already standing).

    I tried some bed exercises taht were supposed to be esp. designed for pain, but they were too strenuous at the time and made the pain way worse. My chair exercises are easierand no impact, and focus on breathing, range of movement esp. neck and shoulder, and promote lymph drainage. They still have too be started lightly w/ one one or two reps at first.

    I can post them if you want. I'm just easing back into them, just every second day at two reps to start and am about to increase to three reps after a few weeks. My norm is 5-6 reps. They tend to work out stiffness and reduce my daily pain and are very relaxing.


    jeanne
  4. frankie78

    frankie78 New Member

    Any more ideas? Chair exercises are hard for me due to my POTS. Antything basically lying or leaning is good...
  5. flossyfudleFran

    flossyfudleFran New Member

    hi all,
    i did the exercises that another member here has just told you about.

    but one that i remember helped me alot was...

    you lay on your back,in bed.with your arms straight,and relaxed,by your side.

    you should keep your legs straight and try to relax them.

    now very slowly put your right foot on the inside of your left leg,a few inches above the left ankle.

    slowly let the foot slide up your left leg.i managed to get my toes of the right foot, to touch the inside knee, of the left leg.

    hold it there a few seconds,then let your right foot gently slide all the way back down your left leg.

    now do the other leg.

    i think i did it three times,for each leg,in the early days of me being bedbound.then i increased it a bit.

    be prepared to feel a bit of pain in the upper leg muscles,this is because you are stretching the muscles,and it turns out well in the end.

    this excersize actually got me out of a very severe bed bound event that i had many years ago.

    other excercises i did while laying in bed where sort of like the movements that your body makes,when swimming on your back,(only you are doing them in bed).

    i still do that excercise where you slide your foot up your other leg.

    i do it when i wake up in the morning,if im having severe stiffness in the muscles.and after doing it,i lay still in bed for 10 mins,before getting out of bed.that way you dont severly shock the legs,when standing on your feet first thing in the morning.

    kind regards

    fran
  6. fifthofanickel

    fifthofanickel New Member

    B4 getting out of bed in the AM, I do some stretching & 1# wt. lifting. One leg at a time, on back, point big toe towards head & hold for about 15sec to start with, then work your way up to 30sec. Then point your foot towards the wall for the same time frame. This will stretch your entire leg.

    Next lie on your side, raise your whole leg in the air for as long as you can take it, then the other side & leg. For the arms, I started w/soup cans, one in each hand, arms outstretched, then pull together for a few seconds & do only a couple repeats to begin with, then work your way up. I eventually got to using 1# wts. & they work well. Then place your arms at your side & raise them straight in the air, using soup cans also. Just a couple repeats for this to start w/also. You can also bring your arms down after being up in the air w/your elbow lying on the couch/bed & raise again. Do this after your arms are built up some.

    You can also do head rotations by rolling your head slowly from side to side & point chin to chest. When you do get up for whatever, roll your head in a circle. This helps your neck muscles.

    For your back, place feet w/knees bent, flat on couch/bed & raise your pelvis up off of couch/bed for a couple repeats til you can work your way up to do more. Raise up about 2in. to begin with.

    Just remember to start slowly til you can feel the stretches getting easier, then do a couple more & so on. I do these in the morning when in bed as I have plantar fascitis along w/fm/cfs & can't stand on my feet for long to exercise..And the feather toppper is preferable to the hard floor.. :eek:)

    Wishing you all good luck w/this;
    Blessings;
    Fifth
  7. frankie78

    frankie78 New Member

    There are some great ideas here. I'm going to try them right now!
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    And he had me do a lot of exercises which can be done in bed or while sitting. I still do them to keep strong and limber. I highly recommend PT.

    Love, Mikie
  9. hannahfaid

    hannahfaid New Member

    I was just playing around outside while I was sitting and I found an exercise for my abs and thighs... Sit in an upright position and just elevate your already bent legs as high as you can go...almost like a reverse crunch without the stress...you could probably even do it with your legs extended straight, maybe a little harder on the hips though
  10. simka

    simka New Member

    When you have a hard time being upright, it can be hard to go anywhere, including PT or water therapy.

    I don't know if your doctor has suggestions for helping the upright problems. There are some things that may help this condition, which I believe is referred to as orthostatic intolerance. Fluids and salt are probably important, but not enough. But I'm getting away from your question.

    Stretching - really important to keep as flexible as possible. Others have good suggestions. For the arms and shoulders, which are very important, I suggest getting Therabands if you can, very light ones, and following exercises from a good PT or exercise book, but start with less resistance and fewer repetitions than they would typically suggest, and rest longer between each set of reps. These also help strength, plus if you lift dishes, etc. when you're up, you're getting some arm exercise.

    Strength - This seems to be what you're most concerned about. At points when I could walk very little and felt my legs deconditioning, I found wrist and ankle weights, fairly light (1 to 3 lbs), that I could keep at the couch and just slip over my foot. Then, I would just exercise one leg at a time, and do various forms of movement, raising straight leg, bent leg, etc. Then the other foot. Alternate legs and movements. Try doing just 2 or 3 movements per leg to start. Then rest. After a couple of days, add a movement or two if you can. Once you know what you can do without getting knocked back, you can try doing them more often during the day, and more repetitions. [Of course, be sure you can do these movements without any weights before adding the weights.]

    A PT/OT can be very helpful but they need to really understand that you have to be able to do this reclining, not sitting or standing. Even if you can go for just a few visits, this would be a great idea. Even better, if you could get someone to come to you and show you what you can do in your actual home. Ask them to give you a print out of any exercises they suggest so you can refer back to them.

    If you are lucky enough to have easy access to a pool, as I was when I most needed it, this can be very helpful. Use a flotation device - I used the "noodles" and tried to keep it pleasant. I did not swim, I just sort of hung there and occasionally moved legs like treading water, and occasionally moved arms. But, don't try to do this for more than 10 or 15 minutes maximum until you are sure you can. You have to have the energy to get out of the pool and rinse/shower etc. It would be good if you could do a seated shower or bath.

    The good news about the pool, is that the pressure of the water on your body as you are just hanging in there, sort of standing in the water, means you probably won't feel the need to lay down while you are in the water. If you do, you can float, but I think I read it's helpful to try to be upright in the pool. It's sort of like a pressure stocking for the body. You will be getting some exercise just from hanging in the pool.



  11. Gothbubbles

    Gothbubbles New Member

    Take the word exersize right out of your vocabulary. Replace it with "movement". It makes a difference in your mind.

    Stretch, 5 minutes tops, then stop.

    Wait a while, maybe 30 minutes, repeat.

    Then wait an hour. Repeat.

    Do not overdo it, but the stretching can really help with stiffness in the muscles, and take some of the heavy feeling away.