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Overdoing it???

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  • Overdoing it???

    fellow MSer, Karen, here trying to stay active. I was always an active person. Maybe a few pounds overweight but healthy and I had good stamina. I was diagnosed w MS about two years ago and one of my worst symptoms is fatigue. I have gained 20 lbs (HOLY crude!!!) and now want to get back in shape. You know, now that all the denial and rangeling are over and I have accepted I am an MSer.

    I turned 50 a few weeks ago and just am really ready to get back to me, as much as I can. So, I tried all kinds of exercises and settled on a recumbent bike Mk). And I have been trying to do 30 min fat burning work outs 3x week. This has been about 6 weeks now. And my MS has kicked up a knotch. I am exhausted. Vacuuming the stairs makes me sweat and too tired to do anything else for hours. I have not been up to exercise this week. Please give me some guidance if you have any. Did I overdo it, come on too strong, should I cut back until I can do more, push through????

  • #2
    Hi Karen,

    I've had MS since 1980 and, though I've slowed due to MS and age (68), I still exercise. It helps the body and the mind. But you need to pace yourself, especially if you're coming back from an exacerbation. Also, at least for me, it's very important to stay cool when I exercise. When I get warm my legs can really turn to rubber. If you're doing 30 minutes on the bike to burn fat then I have to believe that fat-burning is also Karen-warming. No wonder you're exhausted. Crank up the a/c or wear a cooling vest. And, take it easy on the bike. There's no point in exercising if it's wearing you out.



    • #3
      You might be overdoing it a bit. Take a few days off, until you feel like you've recovered fairly well. When you start back up only do your 30 min 3 x a week for two weeks then drop to something like 15 or 20 min 3 x a week for a week and repeat that 2 week, 1 week pattern for long enough to see if it's making a difference. Modify that pattern however you need to to be able to function. If you stopped exercising for very long, like more than a few months, it could take 3 to 6 months to get any endurance back. Be patient, start and stop as you need to, don't give up, you'll get there. The first few months are the hardest. If you're sweating bullets while vacuuming, it might be a good sign that your metabolism is speeding up.

      Are you riding stationary or moving? If you're stationary, get a good fan to help with coolong. If you need more, there are a lot of ideas on the site here.



      • #4
        Karen welcome! You are in the right place. The folks here are all levels of ability and activity levels. I find personal motivation from it. Everyone here gets it.

        For me, fatigue is a big issue. Provigil helps me a lot. Google around and you'll see different MSers views on it. I find it helps me keep moving through it. So I would be more able to drive school carpool, grocery shop, and one load laundry if I take it than not. Or I can focus for several hours on important paperwork. Or I want to get on and ride the stationary bike at the ymca while my daughter swims. When I don't take the med I have fewer days that I am able to do such tasks. Also, there are other fatigue meds your neuro can discuss - one is an antiviral. Some find that helpful.
        But don't forget MS has different rules for exercise than non MSers. Larry is right you need to not do so much. When I get worn out I make the analogy to my family that I'm like grandma after you take her out to dinner- I need a few days to recover.


        • #5
          Hi and welcome. I agree about the temperature. I find that if I exercise and its hot out, i'm exhausted. I find that staying cool helps me manage my fatigue. I would try some techniques to keep cool and see if that helps too.


          • #6

            Thanks Everyone for the responses. This morning I used my cooling vest and cut my workout to 15 minutes. I will keep you posted on my progress.


            • #7
              Not great

              I am trying not to jump to conclusions....I did my 15 bike this morning. I am now exhausted just 4 hours later. And not just physically, I am having mental exhaustion. I am so discouraged.


              • #8
                Karen, first start by patting yourself on the back. Way to go, you are doing something most with MS don't do: exercise! Second, don't pat yourself on the back too long or you'll exhaust yourself. (Oh, I'm such a lame joker. Get it, lame, haha.)

                Seriously, don't get too discouraged. Building up takes time. Start smaller the next time, maybe only five minutes. And put on your cooling vest 30 minutes before you start in order to precool your body.

                I cannot begin to tell you how many of us hit walls like this. Lift up your chin, lift up your spirits, and tackle the world another day. We're all cheering for you. Me especially!
                Dave Bexfield


                • #9
                  Karen, I am saying "Ditto" to all of the above advise, and will add that for me, the key to staying motivated was to set myself up for success whenever I exercised. Early on, I was advised to ride the stationary bike for just 5 minutes, take a break of maybe 10 minutes, then another 5 minutes, break, etc. 15 minutes biking is 15 minutes biking whether you break it up or not. You will still get the benefit of this, PLUS you will feel successful. And your legs and body will tell you when you can add minutes.

                  I applaude you for taking this on.... just keep truckin'!
                  Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


                  • #10
                    Karen, I had to experiment a bit based on my particular overall weakness. I can get frustrated when I see others don't fatigue as fast as me. But I know it's use it or lose it. Consider the theory behind the HITT type method which switches muscle groups every min. It gives the other muscle groups a min recovery time. I also use an app log to doc mins total and distance or rpm on machine and a note about fatigue or sometime exhilaration . I was able to build up from 5 min to 30 min several yrs ago by noting how much I did and working to do a little more next day if not worn out ( I am currently sidelined but this not relevant ). I was lucky to have belonged to a gym that had an elliptical machine with this program. It had arms that allowed you to stand and push or pull and pedals that went forward or back. The program was called "mix 3" and alternated your muscle groups every min. My current gym doesn't have this but I use this idea with a stationary bike and stopping pedals and doing arm exercises. Also I sonetimes incorporate dvd floor exercises with picking my own lunge or yoga pose when aerobic exercises are shown. You can do it! Love the air going in and out of your lungs. Your hear beating and any hard earned. perspiration. You got this.


                    • #11
                      Another thing I found, when feeling terrible that doing 5 minutes now, then 5 minutes a few hours from now and so one was better then doing nothing at all. At least for morale for me.

                      I am sorry to hear that you are having a hard time of it. Adapting in the name of the game with MSMonster though, so if this isn't temporary you will find a way around it.


                      • #12
                        Good advice Veronica ! I needed reminding of this and I'll put this technique back in play.


                        • #13
                          How has your revised exercise routine been going, Karen? Curious minds want to know....
                          Dave Bexfield