Trying to start again to get fit, but have limitations.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 17, 2007 2:38 PM GMT
    I'm looking for some general quick advice and maybe some support. I have a lot of health issues and need to figure out how to get back in shape. Without sounding too pathetic, I've had two back surgeries and it is inoperable due to scar tissue problems, two bad knees (2 torn ACLs), and arthritis in most of my joints.

    Working out is painful, sometimes during the workout, and definitley the day after. Even minor workouts like power walking can be extrememly painful the next day. I know that if I feel pain during a weight training excercise, to stop immediately.

    I'm not sure where to start and have lost my motivation. I'm thinking about swimming perhaps to cover the cardio and I guess I'll have to do some very low intensity strenght training. Does that sound about right. I thought about the treadmill too, but even if I try to push it a little too hard on that I pay for it.

    Are the rubber band resistance things any good to start with?

    It's pretty frustrating since at one time I did Cardio 5 or 6 times a week and did weight training 3 days a week. That was way before all of my health issues.

    Thanks for any advice.

  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 17, 2007 3:11 PM GMT
    When i first began to work out, an hour walk would leave me in so much pain I would be bed ridden the rest of the day.
    I learned icing my back was the best thing in the world.
    I also learned low impact machines, such as an eleptical machine helped me continue working out with less pain.
    Have you consulted your physician and asked him for a work out plan?
    That's really the best place to start, since he will know you conditions and how to prevent aggrevation...
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    Oct 17, 2007 3:17 PM GMT
    I think an eliptical machine would be better cardio for you-less stress on your joints than a treadmill. Keep motivated and take small steps at first. Bands are good especially if you are rehabilitating certain areas. I suggest you see a physical therapist for a few visits.

    Good Luck. Stay with it.

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    Oct 17, 2007 3:18 PM GMT
    The first thing to do is to try different things until you find something that doesn't hurt. There are many reasons things can hurt, and most of them are bad, not all of them are permanent.

    Try swimming. Some of the smoother martial arts might work too (Aikido, or even Tai Chi). Depending on your stabilizer muscles you may have to start with something really low impact like water aerobics to build up your strength and flexibility a little first.

    Don't give up, with work it's likely to get better. I couldn't run on the street until this year, my back and hips simply wouldn't allow it. My grandmother had a double knee replacement and, working from water aerobics, is now up to hiking around foreign cities all day.

    It's slow, the key is care and persistence.
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    Oct 17, 2007 4:01 PM GMT
    It sounds as if you have some specific issues that probably require guidance from a physical therapist.

    In general, arthritis pain can alleviated by long and thorough warm-ups.
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    Oct 17, 2007 4:10 PM GMT
    Is your arthritis that auto-immune kind caused by your immune system attacking your own body?
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Oct 17, 2007 7:25 PM GMT
    Don't forget that you can buy a few inexpensive items to make swimming a more strenuous upper body workout. Buy paddles for your hands (to increase water resistance) and a floatie to put between your thighs (so you can't kick, shifting all the work to your upper body).

    Any decent sporting goods store should be able to outfit you.
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    Oct 17, 2007 9:37 PM GMT
    Thank you all so much for your suggestions. This is the real reason I joined this group; because I knew that I would get the support and encouragement that I needed. I knew you guys wouldn't let me down.

    I have seen physical therepists before but didn't feel like I was getting anywhere. But I will try that again and maybe I'll be more motivated. The last time was very closely to the time of my last surgery and I think I was just exhausted by it all.

    Thanks again guys.
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    Oct 18, 2007 1:09 AM GMT
    At that point they were probably just trying to get you functional.

    Now you can go in with, "I want to increase range of motion and blah blah blah." With more concrete goals they should be able to help you build a more concrete program.
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    Oct 18, 2007 2:15 AM GMT
    In addition to swimming and walking I would like to recommend Tai Chi Chuan.

    Tai Chi Chuan is an internal Chinese martial art often practiced with the aim of promoting health and longevity. Tai chi chuan's training forms are well known as the slow motion routines that groups of people practice together every morning in parks around the world, particularly in China. Some medical studies support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy.

    There are many different styles of tai chi chuan, but most modern schools can trace their development to the system originally taught by the Chen family to the Yang family starting in 1820.

    I have been doing Tai Chi since an accident in the early 90's when it really helped me regain flexibility and movement after a prolonged illness. I believe it helps with my joint pain (from old, severe orthopedic injuries) as well.

    some studies have shown that tai chi practice may promote balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in elderly patients. The studies also show some reduced pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects. Other studies have indicated improved cardiovascular and respiratory function in healthy subjects as well as those who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. Patients that suffer from heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's may also benefit from tai chi.

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    Oct 18, 2007 10:35 PM GMT
    I'd love to try yoga or tai chi. I live in Maine and to be honest there aren't a lot of resources for that around here.

    Does anyone know of or can recommend and DVDs that might be a good resource?
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    Oct 22, 2007 3:14 AM GMT
    You might also try some isometric exercises. Where your movement is limited and impact is a problem, isometrics can possibly still help you to improve the muscles with less risk of injury than moving exercises.