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Activity. Weightbearing or non weightbearing

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by SunnyInside, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. SunnyInside


    A friend with cfs/me and I were discussing cfs/me yesterday. She is able to ride her bike through the village with more ease than walking the route. Was thinking of trying it, bike is sitting in garage ready to go when i am. No hurry though.

    I find walking tiring and then painful, not as bad as it used to be, I am happy with what I can do, and it is no where near the distance I used to do. Its like the repetitive movement with my hips moving my legs tires first, and if I dont stop to rest by sitting, the burning feeling in the calves appears. I have learned not to push through this, but to rest properly if it happens.

    Do any of you find non weight bearing activity better than weigh bearing? And how? Swimming, cycling, horse riding, anything else.

    Thanks SunnyInside
  2. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

    Hi Sunny - i find cycling can be fun as well as gentle swimming - it doesnt seem as hard as walking, which i can't do muh of before i need the wheelchair.

    BUT the problem is the 'exercise' from cycling or swimming is nice at the time, but always causes PEM a day or two later and then a worsening of all symptoms, including ability to walk without exhaustion. I find i do get the initial endorphin hit from exrecise such as swimming - which makes me push myself further than i should. I tired gentle swimming for 10 mintues once a week for 3 weeks in a row and have had a severe crash since then, dispite my ability to actually do the swimming at the time.

    We are all different and for some it may be really beneficial, depending on your own version of M.E.
    Would be interesting to hear what others have to say.

    Justy x
    Valentijn and SunnyInside like this.
  3. SunnyInside


    Sorry to hear you crashed after the three weeks of gentle swimming. Did/do you alter your strokes? For example, did you swim using breast stoke for some time before changing to crawl. Or were you consistent with your choice?
    Am thinking along the lines of pacing the actions of the body, to avoid repetition and fatigue.

    Hope this meakes sense, I'm finding it difficult to describe.

    I find with walking, its a forwards movement and can alter the speed but thats all, unless I walk lilke a crab too! :alien:
    I havent tried swimming yet, and with cycling we can give our repetitive movements a rest by freewheeling, that sort of thing.
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    I myself crash easy with swimming.. to my body it seems to be an aerobic exercise (any exercise which gets the heart up a bit can cause me to crash). Doing one length of a pool is enough to cause that for me. As is justy's case too.. its the after effect of it which is the main problem for me (thou I can start to get sick even right after a lap). Even just slow treading water for 10 years (haha funny mistake so Ive left it.. I meant minutes!!) has crashed me in the past (and if the pool isnt cold.. I crash sooner)

    I havent done bike riding but I assume I would have issues with that for a couple of reasons.. balance and secondly its a repetitive movement on the legs I'd think which would maybe even be worst then walking as the movement is faster and even more repetitive then walking.

    Horseriding.. I can only remember doing that once with ME and the up and down bounce was very hard on my head (causing dizziness). I also found I'd lost my strength in my legs to grip the horse well (so was very awkward nothing like I used to be).

    I few weeks back I decided to try tai chi again.. but found that is still quite bad for me too due to the OI, I crash from just 10 mins or so of it (its harder for me then walking probably cause my legs arent moving enough to keep blood to head) So it seems anything which causes me to be upright or get breathless or exert some energy esp in a consistant or repetitive way, has negative effects on me.

    So my exercise is just the walking I have to do when shopping doing anything else wouldnt be good for me. Thou maybe I could do a few laying down elastic band movements if I wanted to strength build.
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I don't know that weight bearing or not weight bearing is important. Weight bearing helps improve bone and muscle more, its just different, and the extent it increases energy demand would be spread over much of the body. Whether or not its aerobic or non-aerobic is much more important. Cycling where you spend a lot of time coasting and not using the pedals often is probably better than walking, but it might also lead you to overdo things. Moderation would be important I think.
  6. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    They are all a killer for me with extreme PEM after each one. I've lost any balance that I had and can't ride a bike. Used to ride horses before I became ill (acute onset) but cannot do this.

    Sometimes I've heard about PWME who find walking easier than standing. Theory about using the legs as a pump to get blood through the body.

    Maybe cycling works like this for some people?
  7. meandthecat

    meandthecat Senior Member

    West country UK
    Like ukxmrv I am hit by PEM if I exercise too intensely with any muscle group, so, much as I would like to, I can't get back on the bike.

    From the beginning of this I consciously looked for ways to spread the load when I did anything, walking with a varying gait, lifting with one arm or the other even 'static' walking rather than standing.

    I have managed to keep my job which fortunately allows me to shift posture almost constantly and manage the mental demands as I need to. I can work for 7hrs a day but if I go into Bath on a Saturday and walk for more than 20 mins without sitting I spend the afternoon in bed and maybe part of the next day.

    I find it almost impossible to transfer the protocol that I use successfully for work to my leisure time.

    I hesitate to say it because things are so much better than they used to be and for many others as well's not fair!
  8. Gavman

    Gavman Senior Member

    I hate walking - its the WORST exercise for me. I found taking out adrenaline or strength from exercise worked wonders.
  9. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    I think the issue is more to do with the force required than with whether a bicycle or the water is supporting your weight.

    The problem with a bicycle is that even though you get where you're going much faster, a lot more force is used. And the problem with swimming is that your arms are picking up the slack for your legs doing less - which might be okay if your arms have the energy to spare. But if you're crashing, or getting worn out in the ME way, you don't have the energy to spare.

    A physiotherapist wanted me to ride a stationary bike or walk X minutes X times per day, and the psychologist thought I should go swimming - while house bound and with a very low threshold for crashes. I told them rather bluntly that I'm already doing more than I can handle without serious consequences, and that if I do have the energy to do more I'll spend it doing something useful.

    So I'd suggest doing whatever is easiest for you in doing what you need to do, since you still have pain and some degree of PEM.

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