New member

Another new kid on the block. Following an illness I now need to build up my arm and leg muscles. I have gone from active to couch potato in no time at all and due to this fatigue problem I can only take short walks without being breathless. Glad I have found this site as there is so much information. Have thought about resistance bands and take one step at a time.☺

12 Replies

  • Welcome to our little forums. Resistance bands are good just take the first couple of sessions steady as they can feel like they are not doing much then you wake up the next morning and feel what they really did. Exercise is always better as a slow build up. In a couple of weeks we will be doing a complete beginner walking course starting from a very slow start as I will be getting back to exercise after a major op so be sure to keep checking walking for health forum and join me as we get back walking together. Keep letting us know how you get in with the bands.

  • Believe me my exercise will be very gradual. I was back at the hospital yesterday and there is a slight improvement in my condition, be it only small. Any improvement is good. Mentioned swimming, which was recommended, even though I know I will only manage for a few minutes to start with due to the fatigue problem.. Have started a few gentle exercises off the site to start with and I also need to try to build up my walking, but I am positive this will improve with time. There is a lot of support out there. An amazing site. Thanks.

  • Little and often. Or, more accurately, little and regularly, worked for me. I needed to build my core strength and had a very simple set of tricep dips, press-ups and sit-ups that took no more than 10 minutes each morning, first thing, performed in my lounge. I started with 3 reps of each, repeated 3 times, and gradually built it up to 30 times.

    If you don't have a suitable piece of furniture, like a low table, drop the dips and substitute them for the exercise of your choice.

    If you are starting from a low base it's easy to modify the press-ups my kneeling, and restrict the extent of the sit-ups to a height you can manage - a few inches is fine to start with.

    (It's important to use the correct form for each excercise. Ideally, get someone to show you, or failing that, check by watching demos on YouTube, performed by an expert)

    It took me a year to build up and it had a transformative effect. It was far better than a gym membership for me.

    Alternatively, cycling and swimming are the obvious choice. Both are possible by anyone at pretty much at any age. Again, it's possible to start from a very modest base (doggy paddle or a wobble up the road and back) and build up. I started unable to do more than a couple of strokes of front crawl, and now have a reasonable technique that will take me a couple of miles. Similarly, a wobble up the road is now up to 120 miles.

    Actually, reading this, I'm quite impressed with myself looking back - I hadn't thought about it before. The key to it all is finding away of motivating yourself that really works. Classically, this might be a reward system. Alternatively, a forfeiture method might be more appropriate. The truth is, you might need both, like I did. Small rewards, unpleasant consequences for failure!

    I started as an overweight couch potato with absolutely no interest in sport and no appititude for it. Challenged by a friend to a swimming race as a joke that was taken seriously by us both, I thought I'd better stick in a few sessions of practice. I wanted to win, but more strongly, I didn't want to lose under any circumstances. I thought I'd try and lose some weight to aid the cause (and not look ridiculous in my swimming togs) so I went for a jog. I was horrified I could only manage about 100 yards the first time, but eventually I could do marathons. In fact I became an obsessive triathlete, first at short distances, but eventually working myself up to Ironman races. I very strongly don't recommend anyone else doing this for dozens of reasons, not least of which is the time it takes - at least 22 hours per week. On the other hand, if I could do it, anyone could, if they're prepared to do the work.

    (The swimming race never took place, by the way!)

    I've never told this story before and I hadn't intended to, but got carried away. I'm sticking it here because before I started, I was not at all well.

  • well you sound amazing and so motivated. I went back to the hospital yesterday and there is an improvement in my condition, being only small, but onwards and upwards. Breathing is the problem but I see the consultant about that at the end of the month. I did mention about swimming yesterday and they said that there would be no problem and that because of the fatigue element I could only swim for a short time anyway but build up. Have started doing gentle exercise and will attempt to increase the walking element. I do have a bike but we live in a bit of a hilly area so need to get husband to drive me to Redditch where there are some nice flat areas to cycle in. I don't think I will make the lycra scene but hey that's not a positive thought. Who knows I might even get to 121 miles!!!!!!!!! Don't worry its not a challenge. Keep up the good work. Lin

  • Hi Linkirby

    I 'am Vallen, I too, am recoverying from foot surgery, learning to walk again without crutches so I know just how you feel. Just start little by little, doing as much as you feel comfortable with. I bought a DVD (yoga) for beginners it really helped. Just by doing the exercise in my front room every day made me feel like I was doing something to challenge myself. It's been a long journey from last September when I had the surgery ( Fusion ) but I now feel that I,m getting there. Don't let anyone deter you from going at your own pace. Good Luck.

  • Thanks for your reply. Fortunately I am quite a positive person and determined to be able to go on proper walks when I go on holiday. I have been told to apply for a blue badge but in my head that certainly does not sit well. However I can see the point but I'm determined to be able to get fit enough, be it only gently, to go for decent walks (6 miles) in the future. It is probably going to take 12 months to get back to my "normal" so a long way to go yet. Off to do some exercise in the lounge. Will look at yoga aspect, as you say its gentle.

    Hope all goes well with your foot.


  • Hi linkirby wishing you better days ahead for your recovery and health.

  • I have missed a lovely day today because I need someone with me when I walk and my husband had to go out today, however wandered up and down the garden a few times and a few gentle exercises inside. Hope the weather is nice again tomorrow, gradually improving.

  • I just mentioned resistance bands to another member on here, they are excellent.

  • Resistance bands are a great idea so go for it, but until decide when to do them you could try using your body weight to start you off.

    Push ups

    Body weight squats


    They might be a good starting point, you can watch videos on YouTube to see how they are done.

    Also learn how to do dynamic stretches for before your exercise and static stretches for after you exercise, again you should find them on YouTube.

    If you have stairs in your house walking up and down them and also using the bottom 1-2 stairs for step ups would be good.

    Try to do about 3 sets with 15-20 repetitions for each exercise to begin with. Do this for around 8-10 weeks to build up your endurance. Once you get the bands you can start doing different exercises with them.

  • Hi Jimtom

    Many thanks for your reply and suggestions. I do have stairs so for the time being I can use the bottom two, as I have to limit going up and down the stairs at present. I will have a look on You Tube to check on the dynamic and static stretches, also push ups b

    ody weight squats

    and l

    unges. Will let you know how I get on. Many thanks

  • I hope it works for you 😊

You may also like...