ME/CFS and Pilates?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tamsyn, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. tamsyn

    tamsyn Member

    Has anyone tried Pilates as an exercise form? Would it be too intense? I tried Tai Chi but the class went on so long; I just got over-tired and couldn't keep up. Same with Yoga. And anything aerobic is out of the question! I love walking and take my dog out every day; but I wondered if Pilates would help my 'core strength' as promised....or be way too much with my illness! Has anyone tried it?
  2. luigi21

    luigi21 Member

    Hiya tamsyn, i kept my pilates up for quite sime time, i must get back to it, you're right it does help with core strength which is very important for posture and taking the strain off joints, it also keeps the bowel moving and helps with bladder weakness. I deal feel better doing it, only reason i stopped was due to living arrangements. I use a pikates ball though and i do moderate my routine to suit my needs.

    First i warm my muscles with heatpads because you should always exercise with warm muscled. I also use massage, i had a self massage pillow that i can move down my back, but a ball in a stocking dangled over your shoulder positioned betwern you and the wall works just as good. Jaminhealth has mentioned it in another post, it was a technique shown to me by physio. The stocking stops the ball from dropping. Then you just move the ball between yo and the wall. This is important because it massages the knots out of muscle to lengthen back to their right size, otherwise you're just trying to stretch shortened muscle and thats psinful.

    So what the ball does is you can use it to put you legs on when doing side curls and such, so that it carries the weight of your legs without putting strain on your lower back. I also use to drape myself over to take some of the weight off my arms when im doing leg kicks.
    Its also very good for stretching.

    I dont do sit ups i do crunches. I make sure i keep my posture straight when i do exercises.

    Most importantly something thats crucial in pilates that can get missed is the breathing. You breathe out when you are making a move and breath in when you relax it. Ie when you lift to crunch you breath out as you relax back you breath in. In this way you target the right muscles your feel what i mean because when the muscle engages the movement its easier and less strenuous. Yes, its all about adapting it for you. Each of my sessions take about 20 mins including stretches. I do it whilst watching tv or listening to music.

    As always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. I think it was easy for me to maintain because i didnt see it as a chore.
  3. astroherb

    astroherb New Member

    I love Pilates and did it for many years. I did stop it several years ago due to a doctors (bad) advice. I am just now trying to get back into it. I would recommend that you find a class that is geared to taking it slower or buy a good dvd so you can only do as much as you want. The stress of trying to keep up with a class can be very stressful.

    I have a DVD called "Quick Fix Pilates" which has exercises broken up into ten minutes segments. I do one segment each day. As I strengthen I will do more. Pilates is deceptive in that just a little exercise done properly will be felt in the muscles the next day as soreness. A little soreness is not a problem. If you do too much the soreness becomes deep pain, and can lead to a crash.
  4. tamsyn

    tamsyn Member

    Hi and thanks for all this really useful and specific info about warming-up, sretching, and even using a DVD. I think I'd get on better at home...having to drive to and fro town for a class is just one more thing requiring extra eneergy! But working at my own speed at home sounds better. Thank you!
  5. MicheleK

    MicheleK Member

    I can do the beginner's Pilates, which is generally mostly stretches. If I try to go beyond beginner's I crash. I did it at home with a DVD.

    My DVD set was a three DVD pack. One for beginners, intermediate, & advanced.

    I loaned my set to a friend and have yet to get it back. I need to get it back!

  6. sascha

    sascha Member

    i've had terrible time finding exercise i can tolerate.kept looking and trying; trying and looking, but after trying lots of things, i had to quit all of them. came across planking and crawls, and i can consistently keep doing them. i try for every other day (day off to rest).

    can find inf online for planking. i'm doing the straight pose on elbows and arms, and toes, with body held straight for a count of 10. then i go over onto one side, with body still held straight, all weight on one forearm- other arm straight up in air. hold this for a count of 5. then back to original plank position to count of ten. then up to opposite side for count of 5- then back to original position for count of 10. took a while to work up to this. it REALLY helps with upper body and core strength. and my lower back pain which was bad and chronic, is mostly gone.

    the crawling is great. i take it easy with it. start on all fours (hands and feet--and i wear gardening gloves on my hands). i move forward ten L-R progression steps. rest. turn around and go back.

    then do sideways crawls for a bit both directions.

    then turn over with back to the floor. this is harder! don't overdo. just do a few to start. i move frontwards. rest. then back up. was really hard at first. i don't push it to point my heart rate goes up. this seems to be the critical factor. point is to just use the muscles. and it uses ALL the muscles.

    i love these two approaches to my exercising now. if there are days i can't do them, then i accept that. just start up again when i can. these workouts (that don't take long) have made big different to me.

    hope this may be helpful to somebody. best, Salome
  7. astroherb

    astroherb New Member

    Even doing Pilates using a DVD, I would be very careful and build up very slowly. I mentioned the DVD with 10 minutes increments. When you are starting out 10 minutes is too much. I would cut the number of repetitions by a third or less. Please go very slow and build up over weeks or months.

    You will feel good while doing it. However, Pilates works deep in the muscles so you will not notice soreness or pain until the next day. I am working very, very slowly to try to get back into it since it is so good for muscle pain.