The Power and Pitfalls of Omics: George Davey Smith’s storming talk at ME/CFS conference
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Exercise. Yes, that dreaded topic!

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Strawberry, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    I am fed up with turkey waddle arms. I'm only 48! Is there anything that anyone has found that helps tone muscles without getting ran over by a train? A few years ago I tried lifting light arm weights while laying down, and it caused muscle spasms that pulled my neck out for months, so I won't be trying that again. Unless I can figure out what went wrong.

    Also, not only looking for arms, toning ANY muscles with little energy used. I've tried stretching, but that doesn't tone, nor does it even reduce the super tight muscles. Just wastes precious energy. And I used to be a gymnast?
     
  2. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I think arms in particular are difficult to tone with low testosterone. Unfortunately low T is very common in those of us with MECFS. Have you had your sex hormone levels checked in general?

    Low growth hormone may also be a player in muscle tone.

    In my experience, if the hormones aren't right, it's very hard to build muscle even when doing exercise.

    Probably resistance bands are the safest...you can find many exercises online to do with them.
     
  3. Esther12

    Esther12

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    I used to advise people to try gentle exercises like pilates based on what I'd read around the place. When I realised how rubbish the evidence was in this area I shut myself up.

    Personally, I've now moved to short bursts of 'intense' exercise to tone up rather than to help with CFS in anyway. I find that an intense burst followed by total rest works best for me and has led to some greater tone, but I think that we're all quite different and would now only advise other people to do what they find works best for them.
     
  4. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I don't know if you're up for swimming, but that would be a good way to tone all of your muscles.
     
  5. Chris from Tampa

    Chris from Tampa

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    One of the articles I read about Laura Hillenbrand said she does a lot of yoga. I'm thinking of trying Tai Chi. Exercise is one of the things about my old life I miss a lot.
     
    AaroninOregon likes this.
  6. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    @Ema I had my hormones tested a year ago, and I was told they are equivalent to someone much younger than 48, so I should be good on testosterone. I will double check my test results though. Funny though, I nearly edited my post to ask about surgical tubing bands. I remember taking exercise training classes and doing that as it was the latest and greatest new exercise. "Astronauts use this in space!" Have you tried them? I feel that could work.

    @Esther12 can you describe your short intense bursts? If I only stand or exercise for 30 seconds, that just might work. i want to hear more please!

    @CFS_for_19_years Does dog paddling count? :cool: I'm terrible, considering I grew up on a lake. Give me a floatie and I am a happy girl around water. Or my Seadoo, but that takes too much energy now also. So swimming is out for me personally.

    @Chris from Tampa Can Tai Chi be done sitting? if so it could be worth a shot.
     
    Chris from Tampa likes this.
  7. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    AndyPandy likes this.
  8. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    I do tiny amounts of yoga when I can manage it and minimal reps with 500g weights. Thanks for reminding me I have therabands!
     
  9. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    I definitely will have to look into therabands. The videos wouldn't work on my computer for some reason, are they used similar to surgical tubing exercises? Is it something I could attach to my bed frame and exercise laying down?

    Thank you @Ema @AndyPandy I definitely need to find videos somewhere else to watch.
     
    AndyPandy likes this.
  10. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I take a weekly pilates equipment class. The arm exercises that I do best with are lying on my stomach on the reformer (with a box) and pulling the spring loaded straps (which can be set for varying resistance.) This keeps the arms below the heart yet exercises them well. I realize that this means going to a studio with such equipment or investing in it yourself--and it is expensive. :(
    Here is a video--there are of course lots of ways to modify.
     
  11. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    Most of those movements look like they could easily be done laying on your back in your bed. As long as your arms don't go above your head. Now I just need to find something stretchy enough to work. It might make my bed look like I am into bondage, but whatever! :rolleyes:
     
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  12. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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  13. out2lunch

    out2lunch Senior Member

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    I have an old Pilates Performer that I bought almost 20 years ago, that's still going strong. While it's not as good as the studio Reformer, it still manages to keep my core strong and extremities toned.
     
    Sushi likes this.
  14. L'engle

    L'engle moogle

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    I think the loose arm skin is just something that happens to most women, even if they are fit/thin. The tissues are attached more loosely to the muscles/bones than they are on men if I recall correctly. I think older celebrities with awesome arms have probably had some kind of arm skin tucking plastic surgery.

    Still I can understand the desire for muscle tone! I do very short exercise sessions of a minute or two just tensing my stomach muscles or raising my arms a few times, then resting. I also do stretching though it doesn't necessarily improve muscle tone it makes me feel better. I used to be quite toned, now kind of squishy and spindly looking I think (I'm only 35).
     
    SOC likes this.
  15. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    "Testosterone is the best remedy available for eliminating midlife upper-arm batwings," says Dr. George Yu, a urologic surgeon and aging specialist at Aegis Medical and Research Associates in Annapolis, Md.
     
  16. belize44

    belize44 Senior Member

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    I used to take ballet lessons, and I could weep when I look at my upper arms now...
     
  17. lizteva

    lizteva

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    Hi Strawberry,

    When I started doing strength training I had a similar experience: I started at a level I saw recommended for other chronically ill patients and seniors of two sets of 8 reps using small weights (under 5 lbs). That knocked me out for a week. The next week I tried the same exercises, but without weights: that knocked me out for several days. I had to keep reducing how many exercises I did, then how many sets I did, then how may reps I did, until I found something I could tolerate.

    Eventually, I found that level was three reps of one exercise, no weights. It seemed ridiculously low and unbelievable, but my body was clear that that was all I could tolerate at one go. I would then wait 3-4 hours and do three reps of another exercise. I did this 4 times a day. It was tedious and frustrating but it did help me gain strength without crashing and let me build up to the point where I can do 2 sets of 8 reps using 1 lb weights. It's taken me over a year, but i can do it now without crashing or my muscles seizing up and freezing or putting my back out of whack. And the extra strength has helped make tasks of daily living easier. AND I started seeing shape in my muscles again, even with such small amounts of weight lifting. So a tedious and long process, but it's one that's worked for me. :)
     
  18. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

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    I recommend any exercise that will build/maintain core strength. This will reduce your chance of falling or developing back problems. There are books on the subject and most likely videos, as well.
     
    hellytheelephant likes this.
  19. panckage

    panckage Senior Member

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    @Strawberry I think probably the throwing out your neck thing was due to poor technique. Maybe see a physiotherapist to help with your exercise program? Your problems don't appear to be CFS related on the surface...

    I find for basic strength (no idea if it will give you sexy arms though haha) is just body weight stuff, especially isometric exercises if your body is weak. For example just putting both arms on the table and then putting say 30% of your body weight on your hands and holding for 30s at a time

    When I first started to strength train again I found playing twister by myself was what made my body work again. Really tough the first few weeks but made a huge difference in strength, function and flexibility. It was pretty fun too haha.

    I tried to do regular rehab exercises before that but my body was too weak to do any of those properly
     
    Little Bluestem likes this.

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