View Full Version : Exercise ideas?

10-08-2006, 08:48 PM
Hi guys...I was wondering what kinds of exercise you do?
I know we're supposed to do so, but I have such a hard time getting up the oomph.
I can't walk very far or long, and I use a cane because sometimes my legs will just go numb and give out on me.
I have bought the Gazelle, a rowing machine and a treadmill, and I just can't manage to use any of them because they make my muscles hurt.
I also have a bad back after an injury 8 years ago.
(crushed L1 vertebrae)
So, I'm not terribly flexible, either.
I've tried exercise tapes, but honestly, they all annoy me and I have a hard time following along.
I also have alot of pain in my hands, wrists and fingers, so lifting weights, even light ones, is pretty tough.

I feel about a billion years old, and very tired, and I wish I could find some kind of exercise that doesn't hurt, isn't too hard, and that I can enjoy and stick with in the privacy of my own home.
Any suggestions?

10-09-2006, 11:11 AM
There's a program on one of the networks (brain fog day, can't remember) that's called "Sit and Be Fit"...basically a mild daily workout. I think it's designed for the elderly, but I do these exercises even when in flare. (The lady who does it is a *little* annoying, but not too bad.) When I'm not in flare, I walk my dogs in the evenings. I also do lots of stretching/isometrics.

10-09-2006, 12:42 PM
I've been working with a neurologist (as well as my rheumatologist) and they both suggested swimming. Now, I know that's not something we can all afford to do (since it means joining a gym or something) but if you can do that, it's non-joint traumatic and soothing, as well as a good workout. The two other things they suggested are yoga and Pilates, also not hard on your joints. They work the muscles, keep you flexible and Yoga can be very stress-relieving. You can probably rent Pilates tapes at the public library, and community education centers often have Yoga classes that are really inexpensive. This would be a piece of 'do as I say, not as I do' advice, since I haven't started any of them yet!!

10-09-2006, 12:44 PM
Try very, very light yoga (mostly holding positions and stretching/flexing muscles). Also, beginners Pilates is amenable to us Lupies.
My FAVORITE exercise is swimming..it is non-jarring, works all muscles and joints and you can do it at your own pace!!

Best Of Luck

10-09-2006, 07:42 PM
Yoga sounds interesting...I could do that at home which is good.
I wish I could see that program on tv, but I just have the basic local channels, and it's not included on any of them.
But, I'll definitely look into yoga.

10-11-2006, 09:04 AM
They show Sit and Be Fit on PBS; check the PBS schedule...
You can also buy the video tapes online, I think...
It's not at ALL strenuous, remember that it's really designed for the elderly, but when I'm in flare it's about all the excersise I am up to....

10-11-2006, 05:00 PM
Pilates is great. I hate aerobic tapes, even before lupus. I don't run unless someone is chasing me. I just plan and simple do NOT like to move that fast. Pilates, you lay on the floor!!!!! Careful not to do it to lae at night or around your nap time. You could fall asleep down there. But it strengthens muscules and realy its at you own pace. I have a DVD by "the Crunch" it's 3 ten minute segments, so you can start by doing just 10 mins and work your way up.

11-30-2006, 12:32 PM
Low impact aerobic exercise reduces fatigue in auto-immune conditions says multi-study review

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12-01-2006, 07:29 AM
I was just on vacation for 8 days and I literally swam the whole time (in a full suit as I am not sure how sun affects me and was not willing to risk it, looked like a dingo but what the heck!) and I felt great! Not a hint of swelling or achy joints - I felt normal!!! Now that I am back my fingers have started swelling and I am totally lethargic. Either it was a fab vacation or swimming but I am going with the swimming for now. I know of a woman who has lupus that swims for 2 hours each day, morning and evening for 1 hour and she supposedly looks like a million bucks and you could never tell she has lupus. I also use a treadmill and a stationary bike. I have an elliptical trainer but since my lupus focused on my shoulders, I have a paranoia of jarring them and bringing back those memories...

12-01-2006, 07:35 AM
I"ve done a gentle yoga - Kripalu - for almost 3 years - love it. You just have to be careful with yogas because some are really "workout" yoga (push through tht epain stuff) and I would never be able to do Bikram (hot ypga) with Lupus. As for the tapes, just make sure you are listening to your body, as the yogis say.

I, also keep wanting to get into a regular schedule of aerobic activity, but since I feel so different everyday, it seems almost impossible. Swimming and water aerobics sounds great, but usually I"m not up for it at the times offered. The doc says walking the dog isn't really aerobic, and I know I need to do more, but still trying to figure out how. Right now I'm in a flare and the LAST thing I feel like doing is working out.......

12-04-2006, 10:01 AM

I think I've found a solution to my exercise dilemma. I found a really nice used Schwinn airdyne exercise bike in the newspaper this weekend. I bought it from a guy who has MS, so we really connected. He said it really helped him, but that now he's going to need a recumbent due to his MS.

My dad has a bike like this - it's what the docs resommended after his bypass surgery. You move your arms at the same time as your legs and can go as slow or as fast as you want. Also, you can do just legs or just arms. Can you tell I'm jazzed on possibly finding something I can do for exercise without leaving my home?

I used it last night (and so did my hubby) and I liked it!

12-04-2006, 10:56 AM
Just remember that exercises like swimming and cycling, while good for your heart, are not weight-bearing exercises and will not protect you from losing bone mass and developing osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises are done against the force of gravity, and help your bones retain their density. The more strenous forms of yoga and pilates, the exercises done on your feet, are considered weight bearing, but mat exercises aren't. Walking is probably the simplest and cheapest type of weight bearing exercise - dancing is also fun and healthy if you feel up to it. Cycling is good for your heart but not so good for your knees, so if you have joint involvement, check with your doctor first.

Women with lupus are at much higher risk for osteoporosis and fracture than women who don't have lupus. In fact, some studies have shown that women with lupus are five times more likely to have an osteoporosis-related fracture. Prolonged use of steroids makes the risk even higher. When you have lupus, there is no such thing as being too young to have osteoporosis, especially if you have other risk factors, like small bone structure, irregular menstrual periods, or a family history of osteoporosis. All women with lupus are at risk, so every woman with lupus should have a baseline bone density test and yearly monitoring, regardless of how old or young you are. It's quick, painless. many rheumatologists can do it right in their offices, and it might save you from a lifetime of disabling pain. Women with lupus also need to talk to their doctors about an osteoporosis-prevention program.

And if you already have osteoporosis or osteopenia, certain moves in pilates and yoga can actually increase your risk of a spine or hip fracture, so be sure you're working with a certified instructor or using a program safe for people with osteoporosis. If you have any questions about what exercises are safe, ask your doctor for a referral to a progran or physical therapist, or choose an exercise program approved by the American Arthritis Foundation.

For anyone who's doing pilates, here's a link for information about pilates and osteoporosis.

I know I may sound like a broken record when it comes to osteoporosis, but women have to take this seriously because too many doctors don't! So we have to take the initiative to protect our health. Believe me, it's much better to prevent osteoporosis than to try fixing the damage after it's already done - I learned that the hard way. So, please, learn from my experience so none of you ever have to go through it too.

12-04-2006, 08:47 PM
Wow..that was a very timely post, Mary. I'm finally able to begin exercising again (my broken foot has healed) and am planning to join a local gym that has Pilates classes. Recently, my rheumatologist found that I do have bone loss and she put me on Actonel. After reading the info on the SearchWarp article, I'll be more careful about some of the exercises in the Pilates class. Thanks!


12-04-2006, 10:09 PM
Yes - a great reminder that it's important to get your bone density checked, too.

I think varying what you do can really help. Like I said, I walk my dog and do gentle yoga, but need to do something to get my heart rate up (cholesterol issues) and have done cycling in the past.

I've never taken Pilates, but my yoga instructor has Rheumatoid Arthritis, and right away asked about health conditions and medications. She always tells the class which moves aren't appropriate for which situations and offers alternatives when possible. I think this is a sign of a good teacher.

12-04-2006, 10:32 PM
I'm glad your foot is healing well. Hope the article on osteoporisis helped - it's such a big problem with women with lupus, and so few doctors seem to take it seriously. My doctors never even mentioned a bone density test even though I had multiple risk factors - I guess they assumed I was "too young" -at that time most doctors didn't even recommend a baseline exam until age 45 and I was only in my late 30s when I had my first vertebral fracture.

12-05-2006, 10:26 AM
Wow, MaryCain - that is horrible to not have a doctor check on the bone density test until you already have had a problem. I guess I feel fortunate that even my Nephrologist recommended I get one and I had Lupus less than 3 years at the time. Also, I was never on more than 30 mg of PRednisone at a time. It's not a cheap test, but I'd so rather be safe than sorry. Like you said, you can't undo damage.