Excercise and it limits

I am at a point where I know I need to excercise more but do not know to what extent. If I ride my bike less than a mile it feels good but three days in a row n the fourth morning I wake up n my left ankle and knee feel like they won't support my weight.

It is a great effort to get out of my easy chair and do simple stretching. I want some of this weight off. I know if I could get at least 20 lbs off I would feel so much better. BUT I don't feel like doing anything. It is like it will be too much work with no results. I know on this part of my illness I need a new mindset.

Any ideas?

26 Replies

  • I'm going to suggest walking - Nordic walking is best, if you can get the walking poles. Time yourself - maybe 30 minutes and the next day a little more, just 5 minutes if you need to, but gradually increase the time. Walking is good as it is an impact exercise, so it good for your bones.

    Motivation is one of those things which does disappear, for me It was an intermittent relationship all through. Some days he was there, some days he wasn't.

    You could read 'The Spoon Theory, or 'A Gorilla in the House'. They may help you.

  • I found my walking poles and will take your advice. A dear friend lives 3-4 blocks away and I will start walking to visit her.

    I like the idea of the poles rather than the cane. I only use my cane when ankle n knee feel wobbly. But it feels weird to use it and so I hardly ever have it with me. It will make me appear as if it is really exercise hahaha

    Thanks for the input.


  • I was noticing here on Lake Garda this week that many elderly ladies (and gents) here use walking poles - I haven't seen an ordinary walking stick at all.

  • When I started with the poles I overdid it at the beginning. After a nice long walk and a reaction of fatigue and pain the next day I understood why the instructor had suggested we start off with about 15 minutes three times a week! So I built up more slowly over a couple of weeks. After several months of using poles to walk I love it and have no problems at all. I don't know if it really helps on the days my hips or legs hurt, but it certainly seems to. I've bought a small lightweight backpack so I can carry my coffee mug and/or water and wallet and keys with me. If you have a chance to get instruction on their proper use that's helpful. You never want to place a pole in front of you as you walk, but always just swing it up beside your foot. It's quite a natural movement.

  • I was a serious walker until GCA struck two years ago. I now find it difficult to walk even with a stick for short distances so getting enough excercise is a problem. I find that swimming is the best and short bicycle rides. Pilates has helped enormously with suppleness but, of course, does not directly help to lose weight. I hope this of some help as I do sympathise.

  • I am no expert but do suffer with an inflamed ankle and calf, I find a walking stick or pole really extends how far I can go as it means you are putting less weight through the joint. It also helps with stability when on uneven ground and going down steps or curbs. It does take some getting used to though.

    Good luck

  • I have started going swimming again, used to do a lot before PMR! What I do is gradually increase the number of lengths each time I go by 2. Motivation and exhaustion is difficult to get over, but I do feel better when I have been swimming. Good luck

  • I was getting on top with the PMR but Spinal Stenosis set in January,still kept up my swimming but a day or 2 to recover, walking same, But a long wait for an OP is now next Friday-must be a 'Good one'. Then I can get back to grips with the PMR and the quicker I can get back into the water the better - It is good for the Lungs, breathing, circulation and with a shower after, well what better. Remember all the time your swimming you are not drowning! -good luck to all.John

  • Thanks for all the ideas. I'm on a waiting list for apartment with pool and am really excited about it. I enjoy the water so much and know it will not be the same as before. But it will be a destination at least which will get me out more.

  • Not necessarily to do with exercise, but have you thought of trying 5:2 to shift the weight? It really works and is easy if you have a bit of willpower! There is a FB support group, and a book by Kate Harrison. I'm two stone down without trying too hard, even when I was on Pred. Hope this helps. xx

  • I will need to look up 5:2 plan as have no idea what it is. Thanks for the info.

  • Google Michael Moseley 5:2 diet - he was the scientific journalist who wrote the book and did the TV programme. The backgound is quite interesting.

  • Just over 4 years ago I was in a very similar position - I had gained a lot of weight both before pred due to inactivity because of PMR stiffness and over the previous few months after being put onto Medrol which did nothing but cause problems! I was on crutches as a result of being given a quinolone antibiotic which doesn't mix well with Medrol and my achilles tendon protested loudly.

    I saw the hospital dietician who made me keep a food diary - and then made suggestions about cutting various things (it was also to try to reduce cholesterol naturally). I was on about 1300 calories and started to lose a little bit of weight but was hungry. I tried the 5:2 diet and found that really helped me adjust to smaller portion sizes. Then I cut carbs drastically - and slowly lost weight, starting with around my waist. At the same time we started walking as much as I could manage, into the village, to the other end of the village, around the short circular walk, around the longer circular walk. Even when I no longer needed the crutches I took them - as insurance, just in case I got stuck until finally I left them at home! Over a period of about 18 months to 2 years I lost well over 30lbs. If I ate more carbs over a week or so, I didn't lose weight or if it was too much, put a bit back on. But when I didn't eat more than 50g of available carb a day I lost weight slowly but steadily. I don't refuse to eat carbs altogether - if I want a pizza I have a pizza but only once every couple of months. I don't miss anything - because I do very occasionally have everything. I don't eat wheat-based foods anyway as I'm allergic to something in the starch structure but I do eat spelt and kamut as well as rye. But small amounts.

    Once you see the result you are encouraged and it isn't so hard.

    Being outside in the fresh air makes a big difference - I couldn't be bothered to ride a stationary bike, that is SOOOOO boring for me. But finding a pleasant walk, with a suitable bench or cafe to stop in for a drink maybe (not a sugar-laden coffee mind, I drink sparkling water) means you can do twice the distance - because the rest helps. It doesn't have to be the full lot each - 4 times 10 mins is the same as 40mins in one go.

  • I was doing great on 1200 a day n had lost 10 lbs in 2 months... but then I moved out by myself into a senior complex n we get free bread products.

    I had not eaten any breads for a long time n now was depressed lonely and feeling sorry for myself with donuts, cupcakes and any kind of bread you want all for the eating.. Let's just say I put self control on hold and ate all the cinnamon toast I wanted.

    Now 40-50 lbs heavier I am payjng for that feeling sorry for myself

    I need to get it off due to how icky it feels to not be able to bend over to tie my shoes without huffing n puffing.

    I want this weight off for me and my health.

    Thanks for all the advice from all..

  • I think that is absolutely appalling to give you free bread products - to give you free fruit and veg would be far better! Butter even...

    You might find this interesting:


  • Yes I agree. I am more lucky then most seniors living here as my budget affords me my fruit veges etc,

    Bread products are delivered here three times a week.

    they said they used to get fruit n veges in season but not so much.

  • Are there any tai chi or gentle yoga classes near you? Signing up for a group class can be a great incentive. Even a one off workshop might give you a bit of a boost. And using walking poles to get to an appealing destination, like visiting your friend, is a super idea!

  • I bought an electric bike and now I can bike again. I LOVE it.

  • Wow! An electric bike would be amazing! Have fun n be safe..

  • Apparently there are a lot of accidents in Germany because elderly people have invested in electric bikes - but they are too fast for them!!

  • My son will not let me have a motor scooter as he says they are too unsafe.

    i have my car but am thinking of down the road but we all know how unknown that road can be.

  • I am going swimming in the sea and along the park above the beach on a bicycle whenever I have the strength and don't feel too tired and worn out. I also make Pilates with Machines twice a week. It is important to exercise as Cordisone also causes Oesteoporesis. Before I ha e fallen ill wit PMA a d later on with GCA I belong to a Healt Club and I exercised pn a daily base 2 to 3 hours. Today I haven t got the power and strenght for daily activities, sport.

  • When I first was diagnosed I felt so good being able to move that I took up dancing. Tango was so much fun. For 6 months I struggled to get there not knowing PMR limits within that time I got GCA.

    I felt like 3 dance classes a week would keep up my excercise.

    when I moved out on my own I went to bed n pretty much stayed there the first month.

  • Today is flu clinic day n I had to get up to an alarm which when that happens makes me even more tired. It would be so nice to not have to push past the fatigue to do everything. but for me it is the mormal for now.

    I would love to swim in the sea.

    I was used to the Ocean in Southern California where water temperature was warm enough to swim. I remember how shocked I was when I ran into Bodega Bay and it was so cold..

  • Have you tried taking your pred at night? For some people it works well - that morning pit isn't as deep...

  • No I haven't switched my prednisone to nighttime.

    When I was finally diagnosed after 1 year of physical therapy and chiropractic help which was torture...

    All the consulting doctors gave me new meds. I went from my thyroid med and b/p med to 12 meds.

    I now have a new GP I trust and she has me down to 5-6 meds and my supplements. 2 of the remaining drugs she has cut the dose in half.

    So, the idea of switching the pills at this point is overwhelming.

    Anytime after 5am I take my thyroid

    9:30 - 10:30am prednisone and 2 b/p type meds

    8:30 pm b/p pill, high cholesterol pill, elavil for sleep and then Calcium, vit d , magnesium and vit c.

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