Newly Diagnosed : Decreased tolerance to Exercise

wilkesjosiah

New member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
4
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
10/2019
Country
AU
State
NS
Hello everyone ,

I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for 5 months now. Over the last few weeks I have felt as if I have completly lost my ability to exercise. A few months ago I was able to do 40 kg on a leg press at the gym but today i could only handle 10kg. I am also noticing getting fatigued even when Im only stretching. Last week i tried to stretch at the end of the day and got a burning feeling in my legs and knees after 5 minutes. This happened again at physio , after doing a stretch for 30 seconds.

Just wondering if this has happened to anyone else? Has anyone else found they have suddenly become weaker ? Has anyone else found that stretching causes flare ups ? Wondering what I can do to maintain some form of activity !
 

sunkacola

Very helpful member
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
574
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
Uni
State
Somewhere
Hello everyone ,

I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for 5 months now. Over the last few weeks I have felt as if I have completly lost my ability to exercise. A few months ago I was able to do 40 kg on a leg press at the gym but today i could only handle 10kg. I am also noticing getting fatigued even when Im only stretching. Last week i tried to stretch at the end of the day and got a burning feeling in my legs and knees after 5 minutes. This happened again at physio , after doing a stretch for 30 seconds.

Just wondering if this has happened to anyone else? Has anyone else found they have suddenly become weaker ? Has anyone else found that stretching causes flare ups ? Wondering what I can do to maintain some form of activity !
Hi there. Yes, I found very similar things happened to me. I used to work out with weights at home, but my hands and wrists started hurting so much I could no longer lift the weights, not even 8 pound dumbells, without causing excruciating pain later in the day and the next day. I had to stop lifting weights altogether, which was very sad and discouraging for me at first.

Fatigue caused me to stop hiking, which was my most avid activity. for a while there, I did almost nothing. But then, I decided I had to be doing something or I would just get worse and weaker, so I started walking again and doing light hikes, and I worked my way back up slowly. Now I am hiking at least once a week again, and planning to take a trek this spring.

I also started dancing once or twice a week in a class that is very vigorous, but allows me to move at the pace that suits me if needed. On good days it is a lot of exercise, on not so good days it is still at least moving my body for 2 hours.

I have found I have to pace myself, but even on days when I think I can't, I make myself get up and go outside and move at least a bit. I have found that keeping active the best I can on each day has been the best thing I could do for myself.

It has been very hard to lose the strength I worked so hard to have lifting weights. But I do my best to focus on what I can do, and do that.

Best of luck to you!
 

emma

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
38
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
01/2013
Country
UK
swimming , walking and yoga, gentle exercise my doctor told me.
 

wilkesjosiah

New member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
4
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
10/2019
Country
AU
State
NS
Hi there. Yes, I found very similar things happened to me. I used to work out with weights at home, but my hands and wrists started hurting so much I could no longer lift the weights, not even 8 pound dumbells, without causing excruciating pain later in the day and the next day. I had to stop lifting weights altogether, which was very sad and discouraging for me at first.

Fatigue caused me to stop hiking, which was my most avid activity. for a while there, I did almost nothing. But then, I decided I had to be doing something or I would just get worse and weaker, so I started walking again and doing light hikes, and I worked my way back up slowly. Now I am hiking at least once a week again, and planning to take a trek this spring.

I also started dancing once or twice a week in a class that is very vigorous, but allows me to move at the pace that suits me if needed. On good days it is a lot of exercise, on not so good days it is still at least moving my body for 2 hours.

I have found I have to pace myself, but even on days when I think I can't, I make myself get up and go outside and move at least a bit. I have found that keeping active the best I can on each day has been the best thing I could do for myself.

It has been very hard to lose the strength I worked so hard to have lifting weights. But I do my best to focus on what I can do, and do that.

Best of luck to you!
Do you find yourself in a cycle of gaining strength , getting a flare up and then loosing it again ?

This week I have tried going to a gym and using a hydromassage every day and then stretching and then doing maybe 10 min of weights every other day. Just trying to get some sort of strength back as I am finding it difficult to work
 

sunkacola

Very helpful member
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
574
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
Uni
State
Somewhere
Yes, I experienced exactly that cycle. I would get enthusiastic about getting stronger again, set up a plan of building up slowly, start working out again, and it would go so well at first that I would be convinced that it was going to be fine.

then, the pain would come and I would have to stop and I would be in a bad period of pain for a week or two. I would get terribly discouraged and depressed about it, go through that, recover from it, and then a few months later I would try again with the same results.

I am not doing that cycle any more, because it is not productive at all. I am sad that I had to give up the weights, because I really enjoyed doing that and loved how it made my body so strong. But I have had to accept it.

The hardest part for me, really, is that I always used to be the person who would say "Hey, I've got that, I can lift that, I can open that, I can do that" and I would. Now, I am the person who has to say "would you lift that for me, because I'm afraid I cannot." I don't like that at all. But I have learned something. 1) My worth as a person is not delineated by whether I can lift over 40 pounds or not. 2) My feeling upset about having to ask for help is merely a kind of pride that I can do without, so maybe it's good to have learned this lesson.

What I do now is dance and hike. I have found that hiking, which I have always loved to do, is something I can regulate effectively without overdoing it, because I can just do a shorter hike or an easier one, or a harder and steeper one, as the day seems to need. I hike one or two days a week if I can, but at least one day a week.
And, I do a pretty strenuous dance class once or twice a week for 2 to 4 hours. This is a class where I can get a real workout if I can and choose to, or can take it easy the whole time while still at least being out of the house and moving my body, which I have found to be very important.

If you really tune in to your body and learn to listen to it and what it is telling you (another useful skill that having Fibro has taught me), you will know what you can do and what you cannot. Experiment. You will, if you are like me and determined to be active in whatever way you can, find your own groove. :)
 

wilkesjosiah

New member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
4
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
10/2019
Country
AU
State
NS
Yes, I experienced exactly that cycle. I would get enthusiastic about getting stronger again, set up a plan of building up slowly, start working out again, and it would go so well at first that I would be convinced that it was going to be fine.

then, the pain would come and I would have to stop and I would be in a bad period of pain for a week or two. I would get terribly discouraged and depressed about it, go through that, recover from it, and then a few months later I would try again with the same results.

I am not doing that cycle any more, because it is not productive at all. I am sad that I had to give up the weights, because I really enjoyed doing that and loved how it made my body so strong. But I have had to accept it.

The hardest part for me, really, is that I always used to be the person who would say "Hey, I've got that, I can lift that, I can open that, I can do that" and I would. Now, I am the person who has to say "would you lift that for me, because I'm afraid I cannot." I don't like that at all. But I have learned something. 1) My worth as a person is not delineated by whether I can lift over 40 pounds or not. 2) My feeling upset about having to ask for help is merely a kind of pride that I can do without, so maybe it's good to have learned this lesson.

What I do now is dance and hike. I have found that hiking, which I have always loved to do, is something I can regulate effectively without overdoing it, because I can just do a shorter hike or an easier one, or a harder and steeper one, as the day seems to need. I hike one or two days a week if I can, but at least one day a week.
And, I do a pretty strenuous dance class once or twice a week for 2 to 4 hours. This is a class where I can get a real workout if I can and choose to, or can take it easy the whole time while still at least being out of the house and moving my body, which I have found to be very important.

If you really tune in to your body and learn to listen to it and what it is telling you (another useful skill that having Fibro has taught me), you will know what you can do and what you cannot. Experiment. You will, if you are like me and determined to be active in whatever way you can, find your own groove. :)
Thanks

I am not actually all that active . Last year i decided i wanted to loose weight . Lost about 15 kg.Then got hit with fibromyalgia. Its more just as im starting to be healthy , now i cant. still trying to loose weight so not being able to exercise is frustrating.
 

sunkacola

Very helpful member
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
574
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
Uni
State
Somewhere
Just do whatever you can each day, but do something that moves your body. A walk, anything. You have to keep moving or it will only get worse.
 

Hope6_19

New member
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Messages
2
Reason
DX CFS
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
AU
Hi Wilkesjosiah,
Same here. When I go for a jog, I'm okay for about 30 seconds until it feels like "I hit a wall". My exercise tolerance also feels like it is getting worse.
I also have another puzzling symptom, that is extreme abdominal pain after I run. Still no answers yet from my doctors.
I read some of your blog "The Mephibosheth Project" - it's a good read. I'm also a theological student at the moment, but I can only manage 1 subject at a time. I'm in my final year.
Hope you get some answers with this decline in exercise,
Hope
 

Charz

New member
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
2
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
03/1980
Country
US
Yes, I suffer from post exertion malaise. I find a heart monitor helps so I know when I am pushing too hard since how I feel changes everyday. And I go for low range. I get hit like 3 days later so I never know when I am over doing it. Water aerobics, walking and tai chi are the best now. Dr. Ben Lynch just did a video saying PQQ helps some peoplel with post exertion malaise.
 

kmf4474

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
1
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
08/1998
Country
US
State
GA
Yes I have dealt with these issues, of losing tolerance to exercise, getting weaker, then getting stronger only to cycle through and lose the strength I gained. I have some suggestions. Try making a written goal with the first several days so easy there is no way you could not achieve it. For instance, 3 days the first week, and the first day try 2 minutes on a treadmill or walking, then 2 minutes of resistance exercise. The 2nd day increase to 3 minutes walking followed by 2 minutes of resistance. Increase 1 minute each session and commit to 3 days per week, so you can allow yourself a break on the days you can’t do it. There’s something about cardio first that gets the heart rate and oxygen going that allows weights to be easier. Then end it with stretching, and mark it off on your goals sheet you laid out. Before you know it, if you stick to it you may increase your tolerance and be going up so slowly you won’t notice but be able to achieve 20 minutes or more. This has worked for me before and I’m trying to motivate myself to do it again now.
 

sunkacola

Very helpful member
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
574
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
Uni
State
Somewhere
Yes I have dealt with these issues, of losing tolerance to exercise, getting weaker, then getting stronger only to cycle through and lose the strength I gained. I have some suggestions. Try making a written goal with the first several days so easy there is no way you could not achieve it. For instance, 3 days the first week, and the first day try 2 minutes on a treadmill or walking, then 2 minutes of resistance exercise. The 2nd day increase to 3 minutes walking followed by 2 minutes of resistance. Increase 1 minute each session and commit to 3 days per week, so you can allow yourself a break on the days you can’t do it. There’s something about cardio first that gets the heart rate and oxygen going that allows weights to be easier. Then end it with stretching, and mark it off on your goals sheet you laid out. Before you know it, if you stick to it you may increase your tolerance and be going up so slowly you won’t notice but be able to achieve 20 minutes or more. This has worked for me before and I’m trying to motivate myself to do it again now.
I have done this very thing (but without the writing down, which wouldn't work for me). That is how I approached going back to lifting weights, which I did for years before my body developed the problems I have now. Starting with only a few minutes with 3 pound weights (which is really small for me; I used to use 12 pound hand held dumbbells and a 35 pound barbell) and staying at that level for 2 months, then just going up to 5 pounds. But, every single time, I reached a point where the pain would make me stop. I'd be discouraged, then try again a few weeks or months later, back at the beginning again, and the same thing would happen.

What I finally had to realize is that lifting weights is going to have to be a thing of the past for me. Some kinds of exercise just won't work any more. But I can walk, I can hike (on good days) and I can dance when the pain isn't too bad. So I have to be satisfied with that.

Guess what I am saying is, if one kind of exercise doesn't really work for a person, and they've tried it many times without success, starting very small and building slowly, then they should try a different kind of exercise. I think there's probably something for everyone.
 
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