Thursday, January 13, 2011

Working Out With Fibro and ME/CFS

I never know the proper treatment for these illnesses in terms of exercise.

Fibromyalgia, they tell you to exercise as regularly as possible.  ME/CFS tell you that exercise can actually be more damaging to your condition.  Who knows the answer in this case?!?!  I always figure I'll follow my body, but it doesn't seem to tell me any clear answers.  Yesterday I decided I would try some light exercise and again, naturally, my muscles are swollen to the max.  I rarely understand the difference between "over-doing" and "under-doing".

My favorite exercises to do for these conditions are stretching and yoga (and sometimes learning how to dance on my Kinect!!).  Some days are so bad that I can hardly move a muscle out of bed in the first place.

From my research on Fibromyalgia, I have found these to be the best suggestions for exercise:
  1. Yoga
  2. Stretching
  3. Walking (which I don't do as I'm paranoid about going anywhere alone...)
  4. Swimming
  5. Bicycling
  6. Tai Chi
  7. QiGong
Obviously, I don't do all of these...

(Image from WeHeartIt)

What exercises do you do for your Fibromyalgia or ME/CFS?



Rosemary Lee said...

I walk and that's about it. I'm like you, though, I don't walk outdoors. I like a controlled environment so I walk at the gym. Does it help? I have no idea because I have to take pain medication to even go there.........

Baffled said...

The biggest problem with exercising with either of these conditions is that the flare is a day later. You can't tell you did too much until the next day. Try seated yoga or seated Tai Chi and only do it for five minutes and then see how you are doing the next day. If you are okay then increase teh time. It will take weeks to figure out how much you can tollerate. Also make sure you are doing restorative yoga not ashtanga. They are hugely different. Ashtanga would be terrible for cfs but I've heard good things about restorative yoga. I've actually purchase a DVD from Amazon for when I'm feeling better.

elisabeth said...

I have done Qigong and Tai Chi, yoga, and anything I can do from a video really (pilates, bellydance, etc.). Right I do much more basic stretching as part of my physical therapy- I tend to overdo also, and with my sprained ankle I have to be much kinder to myself for a while. I like to walk but only walk outside with hubby. Someday our elliptical will be assembled and I can use that for short periods of time and hopefully build up. I love swimming even if I just float around in the water- I can't wait for it to get warm again! I'd also love to ride my bike again, but that's not in the cards right now. :{

dominique said...

I am like Rosemary, and do just the walking when I can. Just mild stretching is another thing I do because I can do it anywhere. I have found the best place is in the shower which was suggested by my chiropracter. The heat and water help me stretch better and not have so much after affect.

I tend to do more walking in the summer and hardly any in the colder months as my health declines.

I think the issue of PEM makes it impossible for anyone to really know what too much is, so less is probably better.

My chiropracter suggests 10-20 minutes of slow walking 3 times a week for FMS.

Alison said...

I love resorative yoga, but it can be kind of hard to get motivated to do it because you have to set up pillows and blankets to prop yourself into a pose and stay there 10 minutes. So I'm lazy and hardly ever do it, but when I do I always sleep better that night.

I also like pilates, but just the very basic, gentlest stretching types.

I don't think I'm ready for walking yet. My heart rate goes crazy just unloading the dishwasher. I hope I can take short walks at some point this year. That'd be nice.

knitting fibro mom said...

Hi I myself I swim, so far that seems to be the one exercise that causes the least painful flare ups if any on lucky days.On my bad days I just walk around in the water to get my muscles working and on my better days I do laps with the hubby. Just like many of the comments I don't go walking unless I have someone with me cause I don't like the looks I get when I use my cane and I am petrified to fall and look helpless. xoxo

Baffled said...

I forgot. I did water yoga in a heated theraputic pool which was wonderful! Very easy to stretch and the water forces you to go slow. I loved that class. The ladies were so nice I looked forward to going.

Lee Lee said...

There are a whole group of us who are trying to address this issue using a method that Dr Lapp talks about - using a heart rate monitor. If you are interested then join the forum -
Barry who runs the forum is also working on a bigger project that is aimed at helping to live and exercise within your CFS/ME/FM limits etc. It can be done!!!

kitty said...

I think you've just got to be really careful, listen to your body, and learn from past mistakes. My trouble is that if I do feel up to doing a couple of minutes of yoga on the wiifiit, (i literally mean 2 minutes) that I will still feel absolutely fine straight afterwards, and will often want to continue. It's only the next day when I can't move that I think "oh you idiot, why do you always do this? you knew you had to stick to your 2 minutes!!!!!!". SO that would be my advice, listen and learn from your body. I definitely think if you feel up to it then do it, but don't OVERdo it ;-) x

Shelli said...

Stretching and yoga are my favorites, and I tolerate them really well. I treat them like any other energy-expending activity. I pace and rest before and after, and I'll skip a day when I'm not up to it. I think the yoga, in particular, helps me manage my pain.

Anonymous said...

I like anything where I can move, but I'm slowly learning not to overdo it. I'm dealing with a head injury right now, and that's complicating things because I can't do *anything* without ending up dizzy headachy and nauseous. And I'm having a hard time giving into my body so I can rest and get better. But what I like is walking, yoga, the stationary bike for when I don't feel up to standing, and dancing.