“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Exercise Experimentation

I know that the very thought of exercising causes fear to strike the hearts of many people with CFS. However, I think that it is important not only for overall health, but it may help in CFS recovery. So, I am on a quest to discover how to fit exercise into my daily routine in a way that will NOT make me crash and lead to a post-exertional malaise.

I already do morning yoga, and I tolerate it very well. I wake up sore and achy, so I love the stretches to get the kinks out. It's a wonderful way to start my day!

I am going to add a tiny bit of aerobic exercise -- I am going to rebound (mini-trampoline) for 5 minutes. (Actually, it is a one minute warm-up, then three minute bounce, then a one minute cool-down.) I have read that it is better to try to work out in the afternoon rather than in the morning, so I am going to schedule it around my afternoon rest.

So, here's the question -- do you think it would be better to exercise before my rest, or after? Should I be well-rested before I begin, or would it be better to rest to recuperate? Does anyone have any experience with this? Or do I need to try it both ways and report my results?

Wish me luck!


Unknown said...

Shelli~ I don't know which is better, so I'd love it if you'd post your results! Every one is a little different in how they respond, but having some others experiences and some guidelines are a good starting place for me!
thanks, Pamela

Lori P said...

My daughter does pilates and the treadmill. She mixes the routine up, but usually does both without a break between. Mind you, she is 16 years old and her CFS isn't quite as bad as it was in the beginning.

On a NON-CFS level, I've heard that exercising in the afternoon is best because your coordination is better at that time.

Renee said...

I have not been able to do this, but I would say to start very slow taking baby steps with aerobic exercise.....and I would rest before AND after to start with!
Good luck to you.

me/cfs warrior said...

I agree with Renee-rest before and after. It might be good to pay attention to your symptoms for a couple days after starting. If they increase it means it was too much.

Good luck!

Sue Jackson said...

Shelli -

I think you have to look carefully at your own daily rhythms. I would never attempt to exercise in the afternoon because that's my low time of the day (and why I need a nap after lunch). For me, I'm at my best in the morning and sometimes OK in the early evening, if I haven't overdone.

Also, you need to take it one day at a time and consider what other types of activity you do that day. For instance, if I go to the grocery store, I know I can't handle much extra exertion that day.

Generally speaking, I also tolerate yoga well and, usually, can manage some short walks on most days. I find that I can handle 2 20-minute walks better than I can tolerate a single 40-minute walk (that's on a good day, of course!) If I'm feeling at all run-down, I don't attempt anything other than very slow, gentle yoga.

I wish you luck in finding the right balance for yourself and what you can tolerate. Let usknow how it goes!


Shelli said...

Sue -- I always appreciate the voice of reason and experience! I'm glad you pointed out that you have to work with your own internal clock. I've noticed that afternoons are not great for me, but I couldn't tell if it was a normal afternoon slump or post-exertional malaise. Hmm, more experimenting to do, I think!