Exercise and ESA and disability allowance

I read the exercise thread and felt quite despondent cos I am unable to anything like that now due to my arthritis... When I was swimming , doing yoga taking long walks etc etc I WAS working ... So to read a comment ... If I take up any exercise will it affect ESA or disability my jaw hit the floor, I automatically assumed that the people doing all the exercise were working or retired.... Sorry if I offend or sound incredulous here but if you are able to swim horseride do yoga Pilates or go on long hikes why would you be on ESA or disability I understand some of the answers on that thread were doing very limited exercise..due to their medical problems.

Probably offended half the forum here but after reading blog after blog of people who can,t walk cook or even get out of bed and still get refused benefits and feeling terribly sorry for them I can't comprehend that the people who can do all that exercise would be on ESA or disability. So I hope I am right in my first assumption that the people who can do all the exercise are either retired , working or don't claim anything

Waiting for the backlash


26 Replies

  • Well to get the mobility component of DLA you wouldn't be able to move around much.

    I know people get good days and bad days ... it is tempting to overdo it I guess, but then you inevitably suffer afterwards.

    I wish I was well enough to exercise, and like you VG I am guessing that if I was well enough to do loads more than my current gentle stretching exercises I might be well enough to hold down a job. Goodness only knows how it would pan out in practise though given the pattern of my health over the last 5 years or so. I think maybe I'd be yoyoing between energy and exhaustion ... which on balance is not so good.

    I have CFS as well as Fibro and spend most of my time resting, it would be very wonderful to be able to go swimming or for long walks - good luck to those who can still manage it!

    I know what you mean about your confusion about qualifying for benefits and being able to do anything other than the mildest exercise - still we could be wrong I suppose.

    Julie xx

  • I managed to put a few spring bulbs in the garden on Sunday as the weather was so good but have been paying the price ever since. I think it was probably worth it as I love to get out in the fresh air and adore spring flowers but I certainly couldn't do it regularly. Excercise is a big no no for me too unfortunately. If I do have some energy to spare, which is rare as I have CFS too, I would always prefer a gentle potter outside as at least I get to see something for my effort. Jane x

  • I was told to take up yoga when my doc told me what was wrong, he said its gentle and will help...I work 18 hours a week in a physical job, look after my alzheimers mum in law as well as my family and home...I am in agony most nights after work and simply could not fit in exercise classes. I don't claim benefits for myself and hope to keep going as I am for as long as possible...I do realise things could very easily change for me as my condition gets worse.

    When I read the hurdles that seem to be in the way of many on the site my heart goes out to you all...I couldn't pay the bills if I didn't work as my salary is counted in our mortgage and I would only get SSP if I was off work.

    I would like to do the walks I used to do however I simply can't do that and work too as my body can't cope with doing both.

  • hello vg when I was told I HAD fibro I was giving a leaflet bout fibro it said about light exercise and also said about an exercise bike I have tried my son on the lowest setting could only do 3mins told my GP he said that was o.k and to do that couple of times a day I do somedays if I can I hope this is helpful for you take care love beth xx

  • I attend a gentle yoga class when I am able, it is adapted for each individual. My tutor has ME & has trained specifically to help people with disabilities. Some days I can only do a few minutes, sometimes, like now I can't go at all.I get a lift there & back, as I can only manage a few steps, even on a good day. For me it's important - it gives me motivation. It's my body that wants to give up - not me!

  • Hey!

    This is exactly how I feel too, I love yoga and it certainly keeps me motivated too :)

    C x

  • I posted about yoga and horse riding in the exercising blog. I was advised by my physio at the pain clinic to give yoga/pilates a try which I'm doing as gentle exercise is good. They obviously did not suggest horse riding but I have been riding since I was 6 and I am determined not to give it up as I already have gave so much up due to this illness.

    I understand that others struggle to do basic things such as walking etc. but I am able to do these exercises as I pace myself and I know my strengths and limits. I do have days where I can hardly walk or get dressed and I don't do these activities daily or even weekly, only when I feel I can.

    I'm certainly not receiving benefits of any kind!

    Hope this clears things up :)

  • Well said,and good on you for not giving up! I too have some days where i can barely move or am exhausted beyond belief i don't receive benefits i work and try to manage this horrible condition the best i can My dogs keep me going and i love my walks with them Della xxx

  • I think some of us who find exercising difficult are just longing for the days when we could be more active ... sometimes it seems like such a long time ago!

    Julie xx

  • That's right Julie I honestly didn't mean to offend anyone .. I gues I am just having a down day when I miss the me that used to do all those things ... Except the horse riding... Last time I went near a horse it bit me... :(

    Apologies if I offended anyone.. Will be back more cheerful soon.... STOP groaning ... I can still hear......

    VG x

  • Ohh I love horses ... last time I rode one I was about 10 and the horse was at Blackpool Pleasure Beach!

    I just love stroking them and generally communing with the GeeGee's. A friend of my BF has two gorgeous Shires and I could cheerfully spend all day with them. Highlander pulls the weirdest face if you scratch his ears and Razzle, his Mum, will be your friend for ever if you scratch between her udders. Magnificent beasts :-)


  • I understand what VGRumpy means I spent years really struggling to do things and ca not go out somedays with fibro and CFS and I have just got dla after many yrs of trying. I know someone who was a cleaner and worked in a shop part time, which she drove to in her mobility car and put petrol in off her high rate care, which means she certainly shouldn't have been able to clean someone's house regularly. These are the people who should be being assessed on new scheme. Sorry for my rant and I know yrs was about ESA but similar rules apply. I would love to go back to work rather have this pain and frustration , but the body shop are all out of new torsos ........haha xx

  • Can I say I am on high rate DLA but refused ESA but i go to the gym under the exercise on prescription programme. I had to pay £30 for 20 sessions and get 1 to 1 for an hour each session. I struggle to walk and in a huge amount of pain but I do gentle execise on the bike and treadmill then some work on the machines it sounds alot and I bet some people would think I shouldnt be able to do that but it is amazing when the person who is with you is trained and adapts everything so I can do it. I dont last the hour and whilst I am tired when I finish my mood has lifted loads and I feel really good. Please take up any opportunity to exercise I like to swim and am lowered into the water in a chair I stay in about 20 minutes then get lifted out on the chair it takes ages for me to get dressed but again feeling good makes the tiredness worth while. Take care xx

  • I wish I could exercise...might shift some of this damn extra weight!!! Last time I did any exercise was swimming while on holiday in 2000 and my husband had to help me out of the pool cos my body couldn't cope with it!!!

  • I've been trying exercise in a bid to try and get rid of this awful condition as I don't want to live with it like the rest of us. I have to try! I also tried the health programme at the gym,I've also tried equine horse therapy as I stated earlier which is a strict programme helping people of all disabilities. Are you saying if your on benefits you can't try these things?? You will be glad to know it hasn't helped me,I am now unable to walk again and feeling what is the point of being alive like this. Not only that but I can see that the ones who do try and do something are then not entitled to any help not that I have any,I have to live off of my parents inheritance. Great life isn't it?ive worked hard all my life,had my own business and lost it all. I've been trying to do a counselling course and will probably not be able to finish it. I do hope the people on this site are not going to start fighting with each other about who can and can't do what,that would be so very very sad.

  • I totally agree with what you have said Fibro is a debilitating condition and can vary from person to person and as we all know we can feel quite well one day and absolutely terrible the next,it isn't about who is sicker etc etc any one with any degree of disability or illness that affects daily life should be entitled to whatever help and support is available without discrimination! I wish you well with your counselling course and really hope you will be able to finish it and go on to help others, hugs sent your way Della xxx

  • Ok, so if your only disability is for example, blindness, does this mean you shouldn't qualify for DLA? How about if you are deaf? What about if you have just CFS? Struggling w ith fatigue but outwardly normal. What if you can exercise for 20 mins a week? Force yourself to do a weekly shop, potter around the house when not wiped out with fatigue, should you get help then? Just saying.

  • You should absolutely get help! Hugs xx

  • I'll give you a laugh about how quick exhaustion hits my body, yesterday my son tidied out the press underneath the stairs and did some shredding too, I can honestly say I did extremely little to help him, just watched him and because I stood up and watched him a good bit, I am absolutely knackered today, I feel as if I cleaned the press out and shredded, not him, all my muscles are aching and bones of course, and I actually feel really down today which is what I feel the next day when I overdo it, I have to ask myself today why on earth did it exhaust me so much, unbelievable! xx

  • This illness is ridiculous and weird and impossible to explain to others who don't have it. I feel so downhearted that even my GP doesn't properly listen when I try to explain the type of pain I am having and that I black out or go semi-conscious and like I'm stunned by an electric shock and just lie there for hours unable to even make my body move to go to the toilet or to get up and put a frozen dinner in the microwave. I miss meals, find myself waking at 6pm after having gone to bed at 1am the previous night and maybe only got up to go to the toilet like you would normally during a night. Then other times (like maybe a couple of times a month) I can wash the dishes, climb a step ladder to reach something up high, do a bit of vacuuming, take out the rubbish.... People who see me will think I am a benefits scrounger. We are being vilified by those who want to cut the DWP budget by denying deserving people the help they need. If I often put a frozen dinner in the microwave to cook for 10 min like it says on the package and then literally can't move my body to go and get it to eat for over an hour.... does that mean I'm coping okay? Honestly, the criteria used to be that you would get low rate of care on DLA if you cannot cook a meal for yourself with fresh ingredients of meat and two veg, peeling and chopping, dealing with hot water, timings, etc. Now, if you're still able to put a frozen dinner in the microwave or take out your own rubbish once every two weeks, you have to fight and be accused of fraud. I am very tired of this kind of assumption, and tired of the way that this very common illness we all have is still unknown by the average person, let alone understood and explained to them. I worked very hard all my life until hit with this, and for a good time afterward, but if working and continuing to try to live a normal life is doing damage and making your condition worse, and if you have no one to help you, such as children, partner, no other source of income or savings, then it is very wrong for people who are ignorant about the illness to be told they should report you when they see you doing things that normal people do. It's important that people at varying stages of this illness, and with different types of symptoms don't judge the others based on their own capabilities and experience. Please, don't make us tell you every detail of our lives in order to be accepted and believed. This forum of all places, should be about support and care.

    There is a concentrated campaign to take people off benefits. It's a matter of national awareness, and has been widely reported. Two Panorama programs were aired on the BBC about ATOS and the way they discriminate and falsify information on assessments. Every significant charity such as the CAB and disability advocacy groups are saying the same thing, that people are being left in dire and life threatening situations because of the way the society is making them jump through hoops and denying that they need help. It is terrifying to those of us who have managed to get some benefits and yet are still struggling, whether we are still able to walk or exercise and then in agony and unable to do other things, or whether we are bedbound. Come by my place on one of those rare good days and you will think I'm okay. Leave and then come back 2 hrs later, and you will either believe that I am desperately in need of support, or else you will believe that I am a malingerer.

    I can't do any more than sigh a big sigh that it is still such an unkinown. What has to happen for people to get clear about this?

  • Everyone should try to push themselves to exercise. Sure, you often feel in more pain after, but you risk muscle wastage, osteoporosis , weight gain and depression if you just sit around. By exercising you are NOT going to cause harm, just more pain. As far as I can see this illness is so devastating no one who feels they need it should be turned down for benefits. If I did not have my wonderful son I would have thrown the towel in long ago.

  • We should never push ourselves, that's one of the worst things we can do. Sometimes with exercise we can actually cause harm to ourselves because there may be weakness there already. We cannot categorically say we won't harm ourselves because we may. That isn't to say we shouldn't try gentle exercise when we are able to cope physically with this.

    Gentle exercises like Tai Chi, Yoga, gentle swimming is recommended with Fibromyalgia, but it is always wise to seek medical advice first please.

  • Chronic sufferers cannot push themselves as they are in pain constantly and I am not going to push myself to do something I know I cannot do. I have been down the exercise route and for me it made things worse. I get my exercise from gettin glittle jobs done around the house and even that leaves me totally exhausted and worsens the pain I already have.

  • I understand Brie when you talk about exercising as in the short walk I try and take once or twice a week, I take it because it make me feel healthier, even if I'm not fit for anything later or the next day, I always feel its worth it, its hard for all of us this exhaustion and pain, and also I forgot about muscle wastage, that must be why sometimes if I feel the back of my thigh most of it feels as if it is on one side, and my bones stick our terrible even if I am a size 16, but the dwp should recognise that maybe we will make ourselves do a bit of exercise as say a short walk every couple of days or even once a week but they should recognise the pain we feel in doing this, and the exhaustion and achiness and resulting pain we feel afterwards or sometimes next day, they have failed to recognise that and we should be allowed for that, thats the crux of our situation with them, fond regards Claire xxxx

  • Actually I have noticed after 'exercise', I now sorry to say feel dreadful for two days, sometimes, but I know if I go slowly, at what I can do (hobble to the loo lol), some smiles and bits of energy may come my way again, God help us all xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • sometimes more I meant to add (pain)

You may also like...