“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

Monday, August 10, 2009

Exercise Experiment #1 Results

I put my theory to the test this weekend. Since my sister was in town, I took my kids swimming at my mom's house Saturday. The water was the perfect temperature! It felt good floating around a bit, but it wasn't quite enough. I decided to try just a couple of laps. I slowly crossed the pool and back -- leisurely, nothing too strenuous at all. I rested for awhile and made sure my heart rate was back to normal. I crossed the pool again; rested; then again two more times, resting in between. My body felt so good! My muscles loved the feeling of stretching and working just a little bit. It was wonderful. I came home and slept like a baby.

The next day, Sunday, my husband took all the kids to his sister's house and left me all to myself. That would be a treat on any day! But right after my excursion to my mom's it was wonderful to be able to completely relax and rest and do absolutely nothing. I felt pretty good through the afternoon, and then wham! Classic post-exertional malaise! Even after all that resting, I was exhausted. I knew it had to be because of the swimming the day before, because I obviously had done nothing to tire me all day.

In one sense, it was really good -- I've never been able to see much of a correlation between my activities and post-exertional malaise before, because I'm always busy and I often overdo things. I can never see a cause and effect relationship. This time it was crystal clear.

The bad news, of course, is that I have to be careful with any forms of exercise. (You already knew that, didn't you? I'm just a little hard-headed, I suppose.) I crave exercise, and I feel like I need to find a way to fit it into my CFS life. I'm going to keep searching for activities I can do without making things worse. I know that yoga is well-tolerated, so I'll work that back into my day again. My next experiment will be to see if I can tolerate tiny doses of aerobic activity broken up throughout the day -- maybe two minutes here, two minutes there -- until I can work up to 10 minutes a day total. (Dream big!)

I'll let you know how that goes!


I AM ROSE said...

I hope this get's easier for you.
Exercise in the form of walking is what I love to do. I'm finding it quite exhausting, so limit the outing to about fifteen minutes,(I know I'm lucky to be able to do this some days) which is really pushing it. Do I feel better? No! I'd like to think that it does help in some way, I surely love getting out in nature, so this alone lifts my spirits.
In Love.

Dusty Bogwrangler said...

At least the PEM was only the next day. The longer the lag, the worse your CFS. It can be three or four days later - which makes it so hard to see cause and effect, as you say.

Pilates is great, especially if you can find a practioner who understands chronic illness. Josef Pilates was himself sick and devised the system to get himself back to wellness. Which he did. (may have told you this before but short term memory not what it was). I can manage 10 mins of pilates every other day.

Thanks for experimenting. It helps the rest of us.

Lauren said...

Hope you don't get too discouraged & can keep trying.

Craig reckons SCENAR has helped the most in breaking the exercise barrier, (see link)especially sleeping in the multilayer therapy blanket.

We also have used a yoga DVD which has really helped because you can start by doing what you can & build up.(see link) Craig says he will sometimes get a sore throat after yoga if he is already run down but never gets the PEM afterwards.

Sorry for blatant blog advertisement but too long to write it all again in a comment.

Best wishes for exercise success one day. I know what it's like to miss working your muscles.

Unknown said...

Ugh - it's so frustrating, isn't it? I've been trying to incorporate it also and haven't quite figured it out yet, either! When we do it'll be a joyous day :)

Renee said...

I have had such a tough time every putting regular exercise into my day too. Even steady walking for a couple of minutes causes me a problem. Sorry about your crash...hope it does not last!

alyson said...

Keep up the experimenting! I, too, crave exercise. Best of luck!