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Job and Exercise

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#1 Sd53


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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:04 PM

I'm wondering what to do for exercise. Thought I'd throw this out and see what kind of responses and ideas I could get. I realize that the type of exercise a person with sclero could do, would depend a lot on the degree or severity of the sclero. But I'm just curious what anyone does to keep the joints moving (even though they hurt). Also, I'm currently not working, but I may have to go back to work. When I work, I'm usually too tired to exercise, so how does anyone handle that? I'm unfortunately overweight by about a kazillion pounds and my self-esteem is pretty low, but I want to do something about it while I still can :blink: So, does anyone have any suggestions or comments...I'd appreciate it. Thanks :unsure:

#2 Kamlesh


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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:33 PM

I work full time. Last year, I was going through medications for sleep disorder and depression. These medications used to make me so drowsy, that I won’t be able wake up till 9AM. I regularly do breathing exercises, yoga, and walking. So, I used to do my exercises in evening. These days, I find waking up 5AM in the morning and spending 1 to 1 ½ to do breathing exercises and yoga helps me a lot. I usually go for a walk about 45-60 minutes about 5-6 times a week during lunch time or evening. It took me almost a year to build up my exercise level to this level. I have been maintaining my weight under control

I have found this routine to be very helpful in managing scleroderma, diabetes, depression, as well as sleep disorder. I really look forward to my exercise routine. I believe this routine has helped my scleroderma as well as issues with joint pain tremendously. It was difficult to start, but now I enjoy it.
Kind regards,


#3 KarenL


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Posted 07 February 2008 - 02:48 PM

Hi there,
This is a real problem for me too. I work full time. I'm about 200 pounds (YUCK) at 5'4" a size 16! I've gained 50 pounds since being diagnosed with sclero and coronary artery disease. Over these three years I've tried Pilates, on a reformer in a small class and that was great. The other thing is the elliptical machine and recumbent bike. I try to walk outside, but the winter and the arthritis in my knees kills. One very interesting thing that seems to be helping is a "Happy Light" I got for my birthday, it's giving me more energy. I guess I'd say the recumbent bike is the best and most comfortable. It takes awhile to build up to an aerobic level, don't go too hard or too fast. Good luck.

#4 Annie N

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 03:48 PM

I went to pulmonary rehab and I do some upper body exercises with 2 or 3 lb. weights and some leg exercises twice a week in the winter (my body doesn't do well in the winter) and I was told to walk for an hour a day but I walk in the mall (weather related again) 3 or maybe, maybe 4 times a week. I also do yoga stretches the alternate days and try to do them very briefly almost every night because I really need the stretching very badly.
I walk with a friend because otherwise I know myself and would never have kept it up. Luckily she needs to walk too.
Good luck with it and don't feel bad - we all battle with exercise, even healthy people. But walk in the mall, and you get to do some shopping (I wear a backpack for purchases) or leave your credit cards home and do just plain window shopping too...tee hee!
Anyhow, good luck and feel better.
Annie N

#5 peanut


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Posted 07 February 2008 - 05:52 PM

I also do pulm rehab.
I've shared this before, but I learned that if you do interval exercises for longer times more slowly it creates more mucles for those of us with lung complications. I take a 1 min break every 2 minutes of slow walking (1.8-2.0 rph) on the treadmill. This allows my muscles to gain the oxygen it needs to build muscle. Without these breaks the muscles will spend all its energy looking for oxygen rather than building.

They also recommend if you have bike do only the arms then only legs. When you do arms and legs together you do not get the full benefit of each - most of the time your legs overcompensate for your arms. So like the treadmill I do 5 reps of 2 mins arms bike/5 reps of 2 min legs bike.

Lastly, I do 3# free weight curls, 10 each 4 reps.

Sounds super basic and at first I thought it would do nothing but I passed out when I got home. My muscles were, and still are more atrophied than I thought. The key is slow for longer time or at least that's what they're teaching me at rehab.


You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate
my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#6 epasen


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Posted 08 February 2008 - 03:12 AM

Go swimming with or without a hydrobelt. It's actually even more affective than running/walkin and if you're taking slow you probably won't feel so out of breath. I do dancing a lot but my case is not that bad. I really enjoy it and streching after dance classes is really helpfull for sclero.

#7 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:06 AM

Hi SD,

For simple pain relief, but not a vigorous exercise program, I like to just float in a warm pool for 20 minutes. Sometimes I relax so much I fall asleep; which I don't really recommend as it hurts to wake up by conking your head on the side of the pool or another swimmer. :(

But if you're just beginning to think of exercising, it may be enough of an exercise just to find your way to a pool, change clothes, float, change clothes, go home, etc. After you're in the swing of things for awhile, then you might want to try some water exercises while you're there, or even some swimming if you want to go all out.

Basically, for me, floating in warm water provides relief for joint pain and relaxes the muscles, which I find to be better than any pain med on the market. The Arthritis Foundation offers a lot of warm pool classes throughout the U.S. with very well-trained instructors, which are particularly ideal for people with scleroderma.

Just don't feel you need to keep up with everyone else in the class for all of the exercises, and go at your own pace.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#8 lizzie


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Posted 08 February 2008 - 01:37 PM

Hi SD, I work but have a very sedentary job. Even though I often think I feel too tired to go ,I find that if I make the effort ,using the treadmill at the gym actually increases my energy. It is good exercise for those with sclero as you can take it extremely gently or increase intensity to suit your condition at the time. I'm lucky in that I have a subsidised workplace gym so that there is little expense or effort involved. My other form of exercise is free and actually more fun - I put my favourite music station on the radio and dance. I do this in my bedroom with the curtains closed so as not to startle the neighbours! Also means the bed is handy to collapse onto when I am out of breath.

#9 Sd53


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Posted 08 February 2008 - 03:45 PM

Thanks for all of your input, I will check out if there is an Arthritis Foundation pool available here where I live, that sounds sooooo nice, warm water! Also, lizzie, thanks for the idea of dancing at home. I do belong to the gym, and tried walking a mile at a slow pace, 1st time, didn't make it a mile. 2nd time, I did it, but came home very sore in my upper legs. Don't quite understand, if there is muscle on my legs, why it should be sore after walking slow. Anyway, I just need to build up as some of the rest of you have suggested. Walk slow, float in warm water and dance. I like that! :D