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Getting Fit

JanJan63
JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478

I think I've posted about this before but with my carppy memory I'm not sure. Please indulge me if I have. 

I spent almost 4 hours with my horse yesterday. I was and am exhausted, which is not a surprise. What is a surprise is that I'm sore. My muscles hurt. I can barely lift my left arm. This is lack of conditioning, not just leftover from either the cancer or the bloodclot/stroke/paralysis or even weakness and fatigue from being on chemo. I feel like a lazy bum! I do spend some time most days lying on the couch because I'm so tired but I'm not going to feel any better if I've allowed myself to become physically inactive and unfit. The hard part is knowing what I can and can't do. In the past I've had problems with doing too much and then being almost totally out of commission for up to two days due to exhaustion so I've tried to avoid pushing myself. 

But today I'm thinking that I can and should do more to get myesle fin shape. I'm fully aware that it helps with cancer but I thought I wasn't doing that badly. Obviously I've been deluding myself. I've gone from soemone who is always active and can't sit still to enjoying lying on the couch. That's so not me!

I've thought about this before and thought maybe yoga would be a good way to start. I'm not interested in doing anything too strenuous or hard on the joints and my balance has never been good since the blood clot. Also, I can't run. I go a few steps and then my foot doesn't come off the ground properly and I trip and fall. It's quite scary and if I hit my head I could seriously injure myself due to being on blood thinners. And I'm not going to run around with a helmet on. Also, the chemo makes me sun sensitive so anything outdoors is a no. I'm burned right now from the outdoor wedding we went to on Saturday. And being at the barn yesterday. Luckily. we ride in an indoor arena so that's not an issue.

I don't want to join a gym. It's expensive and I'd want someone with some experience in my situation to train me, not some kid who took a course. What's your opinions? Start with the yoga? It certainly is strength training and helps with balance and stretches the muscles. 

Oh yeah, the other good news is that I finally found a stretch that has eliminated my long term sciatica! So that's no longer an issue, yay!

Thanks for any advice! If you have any low stress, beginner style exercises I'd love to hear them. I tried a guy on line recently who said he works with people who've had medical issues but he was no help at all.

Jan 

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Comments

  • darcher
    darcher Member Posts: 304
    Cure for couchpotatoitus

      The main thing is not to overdo it.  A little exercise is good and gradually build up to a level you're comfortable with.  You don't want to get to the point of breaking a sweat because that may make you not want to do it the next day.  Just about anything is good. Joining a gym?  A giant waste of money as far as I'm concerned.  Five years back I was a hog. At 5'10" and 240 I wasn't easy on the eyes.  All I did was cut out the junk food and walked about a mile down the road and back each day.  In a few months I lost over 70lbs and that was with eating a fat steak every other day for dinner. I've maintained it since then without much effort.  Anything like that can get your blood going and leave you feeling energized.  There is no need to buy the exercise drinks, shakes, bars, and all that.  It's expensive and taste like horse crap anyhow. The goal is to be able to look in the mirror and like what you see.     

  • lizard44
    lizard44 Member Posts: 409
    Maybe the four hours

    Maybe the four hours was overdoing it a bit and that's why you're so sore.  Maybe you should ease into  fitness at a slightly slower pace. You know, push yourself a little, but not too much, or as our yoga instructor tells us, "Listen to your body.".   I think the yoga is a great idea. The yoga class I attend is made up in large part of  people who have had cancer or some sort of surgery or health problems. Most of us are  older, but quite a few young people have  started coming, too. I like yoga because it not only helps tone muscles and strengthen your core, but it  also helps with breathing, relaxation and meditation. If you  can't find any suitable yoga  classes in your area there are lots of videos available  that you can use at home.  Besides the yoga, and because our summers are so hot and humid which makes walking  a little more difficult than I can handle. I bought a manual treadmill so I can walk a little bit everyday without worrying about dying of heatstroke of getting too much sun. I don't have to worry about  tripping and falling because I can hold onto the handles.  :-)

  • Cindy225
    Cindy225 Member Posts: 172
    Getting Fit

    Reco the best exercise is walking; with inspirational music (like the playlist everyone created :-) ) or in a beautiful location or with friends and family. My husband and I try to walk 5-7 miles several times a week. Dancing is another great form of exercise! Especially on a Friday night after a Margarita! Another approach is to get a fitness tracker that lets you know your steps and activity levels.  Helpful to get a nudge every now and then if you're inactive for too long. I love to run too but it's not for everyone.  That said, shuffling right now as recovering from the ileostomy reversal which has been quite the experience!  Getting lots of exercise running to the bathroom... 

  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,204 **
    edited August 2017 #5
    Exercise

    Jan:  There is a lot of knowledge to be found in books.  If you are interested, why not drop by the library and check out a few instuction books?  And of course, there is always Youtube.  Even with sun-sensitivity, walking is probably one of the simplist and best things you can do.  As for gyms, once again you can design your own routine by reading or using the internet.  Who cares what anyone else thinks?  I am a fan of the gym, but I have gone for decades so I have learned to tune out everyone else who is there.  The best thing of all is that increasing your activity level is demonstrated to help you fight cancer.  Good luck with your activity plan!

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213
    4 hours doing any physical

    4 hours doing any physical activity is a lot. Especially if you're not used to doing it.

    I'm normally very active and like to run, lift, play tennis, and practice yoga moves. But my activity level is down considerably from diagnosis due to the emotional strain. I was just outside running for half a mile and want to do some more stuff in the basement this evening.

    There are a ton of videos on YouTube on Yoga, Pilates and all sorts of bodyweight exercises. There are videos for beginners, intermediate and advanced folks. The important thing is to start out slowly doing safe exercises. Last week, while waiting for my radiation treatment, I did about 15 exercises. One of them was leg lunges which I hadn't done for several months. The outside of my rear end was sore for four days and it was a big pain because I couldn't tell when I had a problem with the tumor or if it was the exercise. If you do a little, your body comes up to speed quickly, and then you can do some more.

    I try to focus on my core, the area roughly from your knees to below your chest. Some exercises that I like: plank, side plank, russian twist, mountain climbers, lunges, brazilian crunch, bicycle situps, leg raises (from flat on your back), single-leg squats, steps (need a step or sturdy box), pushups. These generally don't require any special equipment and many are done on the floor. I try to stretch every day - especially if I'm running. I have a standard routine for calves, hamstrings, mouth (look up and stretch like you're screaming), rotator cuff, back, sides, fingers. An extended stretch would include the neck and the arms though the latter is by hanging off a pullup machine.

    I find that barbell exercises (can be done with dumbbells, bands, body bars, TRX, etc.) are the most efficient in hitting a lot of muscles with a particular exercise. I think that deadlifts work the most muscles in one exercise and, of course, you can do it without any weight at all besides your own bodyweight.

    I do like to go to the gym as they have a lot of equipment but I've been avoiding the gym outside of times when there's nobody else there as I'm supposed to avoid getting sick while on chemo and radiation and gyms are notorious places for spreading stuff that can make you sick. I always wash my hands a lot after using the gym equipment.

    So you might start with going to youtube.com and typing in workout in the search window. If you want a particular type of workout, then add that too. Maybe beginner yoga workout.

     

     

     

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478
    Thank you so much everyone

    Thank you so much everyone for your helpful ideas and encouragement! I knew this was the place to ask. I'm pretty sure for the second time, sorry. 

    Jan

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213
    Cindy225 said:

    Getting Fit

    Reco the best exercise is walking; with inspirational music (like the playlist everyone created :-) ) or in a beautiful location or with friends and family. My husband and I try to walk 5-7 miles several times a week. Dancing is another great form of exercise! Especially on a Friday night after a Margarita! Another approach is to get a fitness tracker that lets you know your steps and activity levels.  Helpful to get a nudge every now and then if you're inactive for too long. I love to run too but it's not for everyone.  That said, shuffling right now as recovering from the ileostomy reversal which has been quite the experience!  Getting lots of exercise running to the bathroom... 

    I bought a new running watch

    I bought a new running watch this past January and it's been great for running but it also has the activity tracking features so it reminds me to move throughout the day. That's a bigger issue now that I'm working at home. I had long walks to the bathroom and kitchen in the office but everything is nearby at home. Best is to go outside for a walk or a run. Yesterday I went to run and my GI was gurgling. Huge amount of gas yesterday afternoon and evening. It can be hard to plan workouts when the chemo and radiation are messing around with your insides.

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213
    I may have overdone it

    I may have overdone it yesterday. 30 minutes of tennis, some barbell exercises and a bunch of bodyweight stuff. Sore this morning but slept really well last night.

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478
    NHMike said:

    I may have overdone it

    I may have overdone it yesterday. 30 minutes of tennis, some barbell exercises and a bunch of bodyweight stuff. Sore this morning but slept really well last night.

    Tennis?

    Tennis? Good for you! I wish I could be outside for more than a few minutes. I was told I have a sunburn on my scalp when my onc was checkiing my rash yesterday. Hats aren't enough to keep me from feeling horrible after being in the sun for any length of time. It's so hot here right now. Muggy and hot, bleh.

    Jan

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213
    edited August 2017 #11
    JanJan63 said:

    Tennis?

    Tennis? Good for you! I wish I could be outside for more than a few minutes. I was told I have a sunburn on my scalp when my onc was checkiing my rash yesterday. Hats aren't enough to keep me from feeling horrible after being in the sun for any length of time. It's so hot here right now. Muggy and hot, bleh.

    Jan

    I'm only playing indoors

    My partner would have preferred hitting outside but I'm trying to avoid a lot of sun and trying to limit the chances of injuries and I've found that there are fewer risks playing indoors compared to playing outside. Stuff like insects, pollen, debris on the court that you can trip on (indoor courts are cleaned daily) and the generally better condition of indoor courts (most of the outdoor courts that we play on are public courts that haven't seen maintenance in ten to 25 years). Lots of public courts outdoors have cracks and/or weeds growing through the cracks. I'm avoiding running outside when it's sunny as well. Only when it's cloudy. My other option is an indoor treadmill. I will see if I can post a video of me hitting one of these days.

    I'm having this discussion on another forum as well and I did a little research on exercise. I'm sure that there's a lot more out there but this is what I found with a quick search.

    Research has found no harmful effects on patients with cancer from moderate exercise and, in fact, has demonstrated that those who exercised regularly had 40% to 50% less fatigue, the primary complaint during treatment. (See Fighting Cancer Fatigue.)
    ...
    Your goal should be at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week or more. ...

    https://www.nccn.org/patients/resources/life_with_cancer/exercise.aspx

    Researchers at the University of Rochester Wilmot Cancer Institute discovered something simple and inexpensive to reduce neuropathy in hands and feet due to chemotherapy--exercise.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160604051004.htm


    In the past, people being treated for a chronic illness (an illness a person may live with for a long time, like cancer or diabetes) were often told by their doctor to rest and reduce their physical activity. This is good advice if movement causes pain, rapid heart rate, or shortness of breath. But newer research has shown that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, but it can improve how well you function physically and your quality of life.

    https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/physical-activity-and-the-cancer-patient.html

  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723
    edited August 2017 #12
    Moderation

    In my opinion. A few years arter cancer I decided it was time to hit the road and get fit. I worked up to walking around fifty miles a week every week for nearly three years. That is when I hit the wall. I had lost around forty kilos. All the walking had freed up a bunch of small black gallstones in my gallbladder. One of them blocked off my pancreatic duct and I finished up in er with acute pancreatitis.   I lost my gallbladder.  My surgeon was apalled at the amout of excercise I was doing and asked if I was trying to kill myself. What did he know?  Every other doctor told me I was too fat and needed to lose weight. I continued my walking. Pretty soon I was back at the same doctor for an endoscopy. His initial dx was stomach cancer. It wasn't but for a while it looked like I may lose my stomach due to extensive ulceration. It now appears the problem may have been due to blie salt malapsorbtion. I tried getting back into walking but I was staring to have serious problems with lack of feeling in my feet. I was sent to a neurologist and he did nerve conductivity tests. The results were moderate to severe motor sensory peripheral neuropathy in both feet and legs.. I had no platinum drugs for chemo , justs 5fu and levamisole. The fu was every tuesday for 48 weeks. This is my twentieth year of survival. The neuropathy is up past my hipsand in my left hand and arm. I have been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease of unknown type and cause. It causes the neuropathy, it causes nephrotic syndrome of the kidneys, it has caused auto immune hepatitis. My nephrologist believes it is causing congestive heart failure like symptoms (peripheral and pulmonary Oedeema) he does not feel that it is heart failue . He said that it resolves too quickly for heart failure. A short burst of fluid restrictions anddouble diuretics and it resolves. he said if it were HF i would have to restrict fluid and use a higher dose of diuretic constantly. I take cyclosporine twice a day and that has stabilised my protein loss from the nephrotic syndrome. I also experience 13,00 premature ectopic heartbeats a day that cannot be explained.  Where I could once walk miles I can now only walk a couple of hundred yards at a time. Ther is a good chance that the neuropathy is now interfereing with the motility in my remaining colon . I am now 67 and my nephrologist is now suggesting drugs that will improve my quality of life rather that quantity. You don't often hear neprologists suggesting non steroidal anti inflammatories for patients with renal failure.. Ron.

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,712 **
    Fitbit

    I'm a huge believer in Fitbit.  I've had mine for years and even wore it the day of my hip replacement surgery LOL.  It's a great way to keep you moving when you have been inactive.  Staying active can help you in many ways.  If you are able to walk and get around, try to do it at least every hour.  It's hard to get motivated especially when you feel like "crap".  Just try to do about 300 steps every hour if you can.  Get out in that fresh air as well - that takes the mind off a lot of things. 

    Hugs! Kim

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213
    ron50 said:

    Moderation

    In my opinion. A few years arter cancer I decided it was time to hit the road and get fit. I worked up to walking around fifty miles a week every week for nearly three years. That is when I hit the wall. I had lost around forty kilos. All the walking had freed up a bunch of small black gallstones in my gallbladder. One of them blocked off my pancreatic duct and I finished up in er with acute pancreatitis.   I lost my gallbladder.  My surgeon was apalled at the amout of excercise I was doing and asked if I was trying to kill myself. What did he know?  Every other doctor told me I was too fat and needed to lose weight. I continued my walking. Pretty soon I was back at the same doctor for an endoscopy. His initial dx was stomach cancer. It wasn't but for a while it looked like I may lose my stomach due to extensive ulceration. It now appears the problem may have been due to blie salt malapsorbtion. I tried getting back into walking but I was staring to have serious problems with lack of feeling in my feet. I was sent to a neurologist and he did nerve conductivity tests. The results were moderate to severe motor sensory peripheral neuropathy in both feet and legs.. I had no platinum drugs for chemo , justs 5fu and levamisole. The fu was every tuesday for 48 weeks. This is my twentieth year of survival. The neuropathy is up past my hipsand in my left hand and arm. I have been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease of unknown type and cause. It causes the neuropathy, it causes nephrotic syndrome of the kidneys, it has caused auto immune hepatitis. My nephrologist believes it is causing congestive heart failure like symptoms (peripheral and pulmonary Oedeema) he does not feel that it is heart failue . He said that it resolves too quickly for heart failure. A short burst of fluid restrictions anddouble diuretics and it resolves. he said if it were HF i would have to restrict fluid and use a higher dose of diuretic constantly. I take cyclosporine twice a day and that has stabilised my protein loss from the nephrotic syndrome. I also experience 13,00 premature ectopic heartbeats a day that cannot be explained.  Where I could once walk miles I can now only walk a couple of hundred yards at a time. Ther is a good chance that the neuropathy is now interfereing with the motility in my remaining colon . I am now 67 and my nephrologist is now suggesting drugs that will improve my quality of life rather that quantity. You don't often hear neprologists suggesting non steroidal anti inflammatories for patients with renal failure.. Ron.

    I'm sorry that you've had so

    I'm sorry that you've had so many other problems after recovering from cancer but am glad that you've lived so long after it.

    I've always been an active person though the levels of activity have varied over the years. I ran 40 miles the week before I went to the ER and running is a part of me. So is tennis, stretching and weightlifting. I would agree that moderation is a good thing but I'm still working on figuring out what that means. 30 minutes of tennis instead of my usual 60 to 90 minutes is some moderation (used to play for three hours when I was in my 40s). Running a mile or two a day would be moderation from running 5 miles a day (I did that for a year a few years ago). So I need to moderate - the trick is in figuring out the exact level of that moderation.

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213
    edited August 2017 #15

    Fitbit

    I'm a huge believer in Fitbit.  I've had mine for years and even wore it the day of my hip replacement surgery LOL.  It's a great way to keep you moving when you have been inactive.  Staying active can help you in many ways.  If you are able to walk and get around, try to do it at least every hour.  It's hard to get motivated especially when you feel like "crap".  Just try to do about 300 steps every hour if you can.  Get out in that fresh air as well - that takes the mind off a lot of things. 

    Hugs! Kim

    I felt crummy this morning

    I felt crummy this morning and went out for a short walk, came back in, had some food, felt crummy, went out for a short run and felt better again. Walking or running, even for short distances can improve how you feel when on the chemo and even normally. I don't know what it is about activity that can make you feel better but it works for me. I have a Garmin GPS Running Watch but it comes with the fitness tracking stuff (it doesn't count stairs though) and the reminders to move every hour.

    Edit: there are a lot of web pages indicating that you should walk about 10,000 steps a day for good health. 10,000 steps per day would be about five miles per day which is likely far more than typical. It would be easy to do for a runner as you could do three miles for 6K and do the rest with normal walking. My steps for the day are 5,288 so nowhere near 10K and I'm not going to get there. I need to up my game for sure - only got in a short run. I do know that walking helps GI issues, especially in coercing gas out of the GI tract, and it makes my overall body feel better. I likely wouldn't walk as much as I do without the hourly reminders.

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,712 **
    NHMike said:

    I felt crummy this morning

    I felt crummy this morning and went out for a short walk, came back in, had some food, felt crummy, went out for a short run and felt better again. Walking or running, even for short distances can improve how you feel when on the chemo and even normally. I don't know what it is about activity that can make you feel better but it works for me. I have a Garmin GPS Running Watch but it comes with the fitness tracking stuff (it doesn't count stairs though) and the reminders to move every hour.

    Edit: there are a lot of web pages indicating that you should walk about 10,000 steps a day for good health. 10,000 steps per day would be about five miles per day which is likely far more than typical. It would be easy to do for a runner as you could do three miles for 6K and do the rest with normal walking. My steps for the day are 5,288 so nowhere near 10K and I'm not going to get there. I need to up my game for sure - only got in a short run. I do know that walking helps GI issues, especially in coercing gas out of the GI tract, and it makes my overall body feel better. I likely wouldn't walk as much as I do without the hourly reminders.

    Fitbit

    Glad that you got out there and ran for a short distance.  I'm not able to run, but love to walk.  My Fitbit has a goal on it where I'm supposed to walk at least 250 steps an hour for 9 hours, not including the normal steps I'm able to take.  So I'm always aware that at every hour I'm supposed to get up and walk around the house 3 times in order to make those additional 250 steps.  Sometimes I'm inclined to even walk another whole trip around the house.  It adds the steps on big time if you think it's only "250" steps.  I'm now over 10,000 a day which it's been a goal for some time.  Tracking steps is a good way to stay fit.  Try to do a little every day and not so much at one time - you will get there.  Treatment stinks and it's hard to get motivated.  Glad you are reminded to walk.  Hope you feel better.

    Kim

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213

    Fitbit

    Glad that you got out there and ran for a short distance.  I'm not able to run, but love to walk.  My Fitbit has a goal on it where I'm supposed to walk at least 250 steps an hour for 9 hours, not including the normal steps I'm able to take.  So I'm always aware that at every hour I'm supposed to get up and walk around the house 3 times in order to make those additional 250 steps.  Sometimes I'm inclined to even walk another whole trip around the house.  It adds the steps on big time if you think it's only "250" steps.  I'm now over 10,000 a day which it's been a goal for some time.  Tracking steps is a good way to stay fit.  Try to do a little every day and not so much at one time - you will get there.  Treatment stinks and it's hard to get motivated.  Glad you are reminded to walk.  Hope you feel better.

    Kim

    Maintaining 10K steps per day

    Maintaining 10K steps per day is awesome. I should make it a goal through chemo. Not sure I can do it with all of the stuff I'm dealing with but certainly a goal. I imagine that you feel a lot better with that kind of activity than without it.

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213
    edited August 2017 #18

    Fitbit

    Glad that you got out there and ran for a short distance.  I'm not able to run, but love to walk.  My Fitbit has a goal on it where I'm supposed to walk at least 250 steps an hour for 9 hours, not including the normal steps I'm able to take.  So I'm always aware that at every hour I'm supposed to get up and walk around the house 3 times in order to make those additional 250 steps.  Sometimes I'm inclined to even walk another whole trip around the house.  It adds the steps on big time if you think it's only "250" steps.  I'm now over 10,000 a day which it's been a goal for some time.  Tracking steps is a good way to stay fit.  Try to do a little every day and not so much at one time - you will get there.  Treatment stinks and it's hard to get motivated.  Glad you are reminded to walk.  Hope you feel better.

    Kim

    I got in 12,500 today. We'll

    I got in 12,500 today. We'll see if I can do 10K for a week. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,712 **
    edited August 2017 #19
    NHMike said:

    I got in 12,500 today. We'll

    I got in 12,500 today. We'll see if I can do 10K for a week. Thanks for the inspiration.

    WooHOOOOOOO

    Awesome job Mike - that is wonderful news and I'm sure you felt better for it.  Don't push it if you're not used to doing it on a daily basis though.  Just make sure that you can do 250 steps an hour above your normal walking.  You are an inspiration for all that you are going through and stll trying to stay fit.  Hope that you can continue to get as much exercise as you can.

    Kim

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,176 **
    I was feeling a bit heavy and

    I was feeling a bit heavy and out of shape, then work get busy, life got busy. When you have little choice but to respond, even in this heat and humidity[SoCal], you shape up pretty fast, or get wiped out. So now that I've survived the workload I feel pretty good, I just need to incorperate time on the eliptical for cardio, at least it's inside where the a/c is. Jan look around for an eliptical and just peddle it as much as you feel you can on a given day. It's easy on the joints and 20 minutes a day will do wonders. Now if I could only follow my own advice,LOL...............................................Dave

  • NHMike
    NHMike Member Posts: 213
    edited August 2017 #21

    I was feeling a bit heavy and

    I was feeling a bit heavy and out of shape, then work get busy, life got busy. When you have little choice but to respond, even in this heat and humidity[SoCal], you shape up pretty fast, or get wiped out. So now that I've survived the workload I feel pretty good, I just need to incorperate time on the eliptical for cardio, at least it's inside where the a/c is. Jan look around for an eliptical and just peddle it as much as you feel you can on a given day. It's easy on the joints and 20 minutes a day will do wonders. Now if I could only follow my own advice,LOL...............................................Dave

    I think that anything that

    I think that anything that you do is better than bagging it, even when it's so easy to bag it. Good to hear that you're getting in your cardio and, yes, the elliptical is a lot easier on your joints.