Exercising with fibro

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by MargaretOB, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. MargaretOB

    MargaretOB New Member

    Hi all, this is my first time here. I've got fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and rheumatoid arthritis, among a host of other problems. Haven't been able to work in over 6 years and I really need to loose some weight.

    Have a question for you. I have been trying to walk everyday and as the weather is getting colder here, I find my muscles or tendons in my legs are like rubber bands, getting tighter and more painful when I go outside. Just dealing with the fatigue when I walk is hard enough, but the pain gets to where it lasts all afternoon.

    Does anybody have any tips on how to deal with this? I was thinking I might look for pants made of gortex on the outside and cotton on the inside, with the idea of keeping the cold out but also keeping the sweat off of my skin. Sometimes it seems like I forgot how to walk...

  2. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    but I get a slight wind and my muscles tense up.Linda
  3. suz45

    suz45 New Member

    Hi Margaret:

    Big welcome to the board, sorry we meet under these circumstances, but you have come to the right place for support, and sharing ideas or just when your having a bad day and need a shoulder(there are many here).

    Regarding your post, I walk and do yoga as my back will not allow for other sports (well maybe swimming). I use close fitting walking tights that you would wear under loose nylon or cotton walking pants. Keep the legs warm, but if you are sweating or in the rain resists moisture.

    They can be a bit pricey, but I usually catch a sale a the local sporting dept. I also wear them alone in the house for yoga.

    Also are you taking a shower or bath after your exercising, you may find that helpful in keeping the muscles more streched out and limber. Also pace yourself dont overdo... or you'll put yoursel in a flare. I hope this was helpful, I'm sure there will be other posts tonoght for you. The people here are great.

    Welcome again,

  4. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    Hi Margaret and welcome to the board!

    I have the same problem as you, the cold weather makes exercise in the outdoors very difficult.

    In the summertime, I can manage to walk 6-8 blocks (I use a walker) but when the weather is like this I can't even make it around the block without horrible pain & weakness.

    I get most of my winter walking indoors, at the mall. I'm considering a treadmill because I know how important it is to walk (exercise) every day.

    Gortex/cotton pants sound ideal and may very well solve the problem. Good idea.

    Take good care,
    Anne Theresa
  5. Jackie41

    Jackie41 Member

    I'm 32 and have had fibro for 5 years. I find that walking helps though it may be hard at first. I walk a lot now, at the mall when the weather is bad. I find the exercise really helps the pain. I still have the problem with tiredness in my legs. What's helped me tremendously is a pair of extremely lightweight forearm canes. I've been using them for a few years now and they give me just enough extra security that I can walk long distances for exercise. I recommend you try a pair of these sticks. You can see what they look like in my pic. It was embarrassing for me to use these sticks at first because I was only 27 and I don't look "crippled", but by now all of my friends are so used to seeing me walk with these canes that I don't think anything of it anymore. In fact, I've convinced a couple of the ladies in my support group to start using them and they are both glad they did, and they're both younger than me. They both say they can't believe how much easier it is to walk.


  6. Nelca

    Nelca New Member

    I am new...My doctor thinks I have "some sort of autoimmune disease", he mentioned Lupus or RA but I am becoming more and more convinced it's FM after research.

    I lift weights 3 or 4 times a day. I pride myself on being strong. I like to lift heavy. I have been having tightness in my hips for a few year...I thought due to being a woman and childbirth, etc. The past month or so this problem has spread to all my joint...save the toes. I find that when I do cardio, even on the Elipitical, my knees remain stiff the whole time and don't ever loosen up. I have trouble walking when I get off. My hands have also bothered me for years...thought it was carpal tunnel. They are recently causing me such pain and bother with weak grip that I can't really lift and when I do my elbows and shoudlers cause much pain due to tightness and deep joint pain...worse than the every day pain.

    I feel like to maintain some kind of health and fitness I have to keep my muscles strong to support my joints but I am worried that I won't be able to lift with this pain. Also, I am slightly worried about causing permanent joint damage.

    Do you do any resistance training? Does it help? Does it hurt? Any thoughts?
  7. aubrygreen

    aubrygreen New Member

    I personally have found that I can't walk for exercise, my hips and lower back start to grind really painfully after about 1/4 mile. Of course, my original injury was to my hips and lower back, so it's certainly possible that that's nothing to do with my FM. Who knows?

    What I do instead is I go swimming 2 or 3 times a week at our municipal pool. It's nothing fancy, but they have a hot tub and some lap lanes, so I stretch in the hot tub for about ten minutes, swim some laps, then stretch again for about 15 minutes. At times it does make me feel really exhausted and achey after, but I haven't had any problems with my joints or tendons, and the heat of the hot tub is really beneficial as far as stretching goes. An additional benefit is that while swimming I don't have any problems with balance, and there's no risk of falling flat on my face!

  8. baanders

    baanders New Member

    I don't know if I'm allowed to mention who...but they sell thermal underware with wool, nylon, and cotton. Then you can buy 2 pair...one in a larger size. Layer them. Before you go out, take a warm bath. Then wear lots of layers. You can buy a 630 count goose down with faux fur, a lightweight coat. Don't forget those pants. A good scarf to cover then neck and mouth. Gloves, warm hat. Fleece and polartec are particularly good because they are lightweight and they do not put pressure or pull on aching joints.

  9. MargaretOB

    MargaretOB New Member

    Wow, thanks to all of you for your responses! I think I will look for cotton tights. I have not stretched before I start out, so maybe I should be doing that.

    I used to swim in a warm-water therapy pool (90F) when I was in town. I highly recommend it - I could move in ways that were very difficult before. I moved to the country a year ago and funds are very tight (on SSD), so since walking is free, I thought I'd try that. I was walking on the road right outside my house, and I got a walking stick, which really helped with my balance problems. I was a little self-conscious at first, but find it helps me so much that I don't care what I look like. At least I'm not falling over.

    Right across the road from me is a huge forest owned by the University of Illinois, with hiking trails, so I have been hiking on them for the past few weeks. It's good, because once I get on one, I can't turn back. haha. I just take momentary breaks to catch my breath.

    Walking on a trail that is not level is challenging, but it is so beautiful that I look forward to it everyday. I did find that when I wore my sandals, my crampy feet could feel the ground better and I could stretch the painful tight muscles in my foot on a tree root or something, whereas with my tennis shoes, I could not do that as well.

    I did soak in a hot bath afterwards one day, and it was grand. I put in some epsom salts. I had bought some magnesium and malic acid awhile back, but as usual, I forgot about them, so I will try taking that before I walk.

    Well I guess I better get out there...it's a glorious sunny day today.

    Thanks again.

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