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is swimming(aerobic exercise) recommended for us?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by lenin, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. lenin


    Hi everyone,

    last weeks I've been doing quite good. I started to go to the swimming pool 3 days per week and one day gym. Last year every time I tried to go to the swimming pool I would have PEM for a couple of days, however since two months ago this trend changed and I was feeling great after a session in the pool. I felt like more energy, I was going during the morning to take advantage of this energy for the rest of the day. I was so happy. Plus, I was going one day to the gym, doing little weights and some repetitions ( around 20). This rutine was working, I was seeing some progress (although I can't manage to gain weight) specially at the pool.

    However, last monday I think I overdid at the gym trying to make bigger weights and I got PEM for a few days since then. I've heard aerobic exercise is not good for CFS. But nowadays it seems that it is working the other way around for me. I am very skinny (185cm 71kilos) and the doctors advice me to try to gain weight, however I give up on this now as I see it impossible.

    Should I stop swimming if I feel is being good? Has anyone have had a bad experience with aerobic exercise? I think I can handle swimming since I added glutamine as a suplemment.
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  2. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

    You should do what exercise you feel able to. If swimming makes you feels good, do it.
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  3. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

    Swimming is a somewhat unique exercise. Studies show that swimming increases blood flow to the brain. I was able to swim more than any other exercise in the first few years I had CFS. At this point, just walking in the pool seems beneficial. It also has the positive effect of putting pressure on the lower body, which is good for orthostatic intolerance. But I think very important to stay in your energy envelope. Especially if you don't tolerate aerobic exercise well. I have heard of people doing well with low level weightlifting. Staying anaerobic. But all exercises risky for CFS if you don't keep within your energy envelope. Some people monitor their heart rate to keep track of aerobic versus anaerobic status.
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  4. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member

    I like to go back to the Workwell Foundation letter on GET, which advises against increasing aerobic exercise. It goes on to say careful training of the anaerobic system (mindful of heart rate limits) may be possible.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  5. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

    I swim, too, when I'm able. I don't allow myself to count lengths so that I can't set targets, I know when I need to stop and get out, and I also know when I'm not well enough to go in the first place. If I get a sore throat that lasts longer than half an hour in a morning, I make myself take at least a week off (if not two). I also go to a pool where people do competitive swimming, so the water's quite cold – that makes a huge difference for me, as I'm heat-intolerant.

    As long as you're on top of all those things and you're sure you're not on a long-term downward trend, it's do-able for some people. I had ME for over 20 years before I was diagnosed, and there were times when I was well enough to swim long distances; I only crashed again when I really overdid it, usually by doing more than one form of exercise and not listening properly to my body. I know better now!
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  6. jpcv

    jpcv Senior Member

    SE coast, Brazil
    I´ve been a swimmer since childhood, and a good one.
    But as soon as I got sick with ME I had to quit swimming, because even swimming 25 meters would cause me a profound fatigue and sometimes very bad PEMs.
    So listen to your body and do not overdo it.
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  7. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

    Pacific Northwest
    Perhaps the exercise is increasing oxidative and/or nitrosative stress and/or depleting you body of certain nutrients as you place demands on it. This might be what worked fine for awhile eventually worsened.

    Increasing glutathione production through use of methylating nutrients and amino acids (NAC, glutamine, glycine) or taking liposomal glutathione might help.

    The research has also shown many of us are depleted in amino acids. I was. Branched chain amino acids, especially, can help increase ability to exercise, but you might have an amino acid panel run and see if you are short.

    I've found that glutathione and BCAAs together can reverse or avert PEM. I also found my body needs larger amounts of amino acids than most people and a custom amino supplement has been helpful.
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  8. Neunistiva

    Neunistiva Senior Member

    I am extremely sensitive to water. Even having someone wash my hair in bed crashes me horribly. I don't know if it's the heat loss or what but it destroys me. On the other hand there are people with ME/CFS who enjoy long baths and say it helps them with pain. We don't react the same.

    I could never handle any type of exercise, even if I tracked my heart rate, but if it makes you feel good keep doing it.

    Just makes sure to do only 50% of what you feel you can so, if something unplanned pops up, you don't crash.
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  9. Seven (formerly lnester7)

    Seven (formerly lnester7) Seven

    I was told it was, specially since I have POTS, it might be ok for POTs but not for ME, and I think aerobic excecise is very bad idea unless you know what your range is before you swtich. If you do know what your aerobic range is (you can test that) then should be ok.
  10. jesse's mom

    jesse's mom Senior Member

    Alabama USA
    I was able to swim a bit even after I could not work. I think because of the autoimmune issues, I tore my rotator cuff, while swimming upset. I was trying to swim and not attending to how my body was doing. My dog had been killed by a hit and run driver that day. I should have been still that day!

    Any aerobic exercise for me must be done only when I can be mindful of how my body is doing.

    A good way for me to plan what I am able to do, is by seeing what my heart rate was averaging that day.

    I say if you can do it DO IT! I have had remission and partial remissions before.
    Hufsamor and lenin like this.
  11. lenin


    I am taking L-glutamine 5grs at night. Some days I took 5grs at morning and 5grs at night, but I think this would be too much. I've read it is not very good for the liver to take much Glutamine, so I'm doing 5grs now. Would it be posible to take BCAAs together with L-glutamine? Or this would be too much? I noticed the more glutamine I take the better I am but I don't know if this can have a consequence in the long run... A doctor told me I can take up to 12grs per day, however I am not sure if it is a good idea...

    I am taking cordyceps and mico-corio, l-glutamine, zinc, vitamin d(400mg) and vitamin c (1g). This is the treatment that is helping me the most since I started. I haven't had a sore throat or low grade fever since I started two months ago and I feel my inmune system is working very good. What I'm feeling the most is the glutamine to keep more strenght and resistance in my legs. Maybe it is time to try BCAA and NAC
    jesse's mom likes this.

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