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Limited ability to exercise - suggestions?

(24 Posts)
roughtyping Fri 28-Dec-12 18:18:08

Right! I am getting married in 8 months. I want to look freaking amazing, frankly. Need to lose weight. Restarted myfitnesspal, need to look at the exercise side of things.

I have joint problems which mean I'm not meant to do anything which strains them - running/jogging, Zumba, yoga (stretches joints too far, which is basically the problem with my joints) etc are all out. I do pilates to help with strengthening joints already. I also get very tired - I come home and crash out after work (work FT as a teacher) and just don't want to move at all.

I know the really simple answer is swimming but I am just so embarrassed about getting into the pool in front of people in my swimming costume. Which is ridiculous, and vain, I know. But knowing it's stupid doesn't stop the problem existing.

So - ideas for low impact exercise? Help!

AuntieMaggie Fri 28-Dec-12 18:23:15

I was going to say aqua zumba/aqua aerobics... Great for your joints and burns more calories than it feels like it does.

Generally these sessions are all women and older women too so no need to feel self conscious (or just walk to the edge of the pool in your towel like I do!)

Are there any women only sessions so you can build your confidence up?

AuntieMaggie Fri 28-Dec-12 18:24:04

Also if you go early morning theres next ti nobody in the pool!

MULLYPEEP Fri 28-Dec-12 18:24:53

Spin? Cross trainer?

roughtyping Fri 28-Dec-12 18:40:36

I think there might be a women's only session actually Maggie, thanks for reminding me! Will go and have a wee look. Early mornings are a no-go - always in a rush to get out of the house as it is!

Mullypeep I'm going to try my elliptical (is that what it's called?) trainer thing - haven't used it in ages (takes up a lot of space). That would be good though, not a huge amount of pressure on knees!

IslaValargeone Fri 28-Dec-12 18:42:57

How about a rebounder? gentle on your joints but good for aerobic fitness and cellulite apparantly.
Also callanetics for strength, flexibility and general shrinkage.

ItsaTIARA Fri 28-Dec-12 18:55:50

Develop a phobia of lifts and escalators. Aquaerobics is all well and good but (say) 2 hours a week of low impact exercise is not going to make a significant difference to your body shape. You need to either do short periods of very hardcore work (tricky with your joints but perhaps some free weights/plank/press-ups would be possible to build more muscle) or to make the 70-odd hours a week when you're not at work or asleep just a bit more active, walk more, walk faster, stand, climb stairs. Obviously you're not in a sedentary job, so you're doing better than most already, but there's usually something you can do to squeeze a bit more oomph out of your day.

LIZS Fri 28-Dec-12 19:01:24

cycling , adult ballet ?

MerylStrop Fri 28-Dec-12 19:05:35

Swimming's not intense enough for much weightloss anyhow, but is great for toning.
Can you do any weights?
Walking? Briskly, is v energising

Though on the swimming thing - have you actually looked around you in the pool, seriously, everyone normal looks shit in swimmers.

roughtyping Fri 28-Dec-12 19:23:54

Tiara I think you're right with just generally being more active. Problem with weights is my shoulders and elbows over extend so they swing down too far/go round too far which then leads to days of pain. I do sit ups though (quite good at those grin) as lying down sorts my back out afterwards.

Will make sure I'm taking the stairs, don't have any at school so it's only really when out shopping etc that I would use a lift - will avoid, avoid, avoid!

Meryl think walking more is a good thing to aim for. I drive everywhere now - I used to walk everywhere before I could drive, and you can sadly see the difference sad!

Liz think I might look like a baby elephant trying ballet grin, will be back out on bike when it dries up a bit

MULLYPEEP Fri 28-Dec-12 23:22:26

Any chance you could get a couple of sessions with a really good personal trainer? I have joint problems and saw one who has got me doing things I would have discounted due to my joints and actually my joints feel better than in a long time. Spin is also very low impact on my knees but a hard workout. I'd definitely recommend seeing someone who knows their stuff e.g lunges used to hurt my knees until I was shown where I was going wrong. A 20 minute walk at lunchtime and 25 mins on cross trainer at home?

roughtyping Sat 29-Dec-12 12:00:42

Mully, all money currently going towards wedding fund.. Also a bit scared of gyms for similar reasons as swimming!

TBH I probably am doing stuff wrongly. However I have days where my foot just 'goes' for no reason, or my knee dislocates suddenly and I can't walk properly, so need to be careful just walking. Physio had to reteach me how to walk down stairs. Also have a crappy sense of balance which doesn't help!

I did some Just Dance with DS last night, I was fine apart from bits where arms go above your head - my shoulders just click out. As long as I'm careful with that it'll be fine (and quite fun!)

How bad is stepping? I love step on the Wii Fit but imagine it's not great for knees??

LavenderBriggs Sat 29-Dec-12 12:52:40

Hi Rough. You seem to be describing Hypermobility Syndrome - have you ever had anyone look into your joint instability?

It might be worth thinking about how to strengthen your muscles before you attempt cardio stuff. If your ligaments aren't holding your joints in place it can be really helpful if you strengthen your muscles to take some of the workload.

Signet2012 Sat 29-Dec-12 16:55:56

I have hyermobikity and am in need of losing five stone. I have similar problem to what you describe. I'm too fat for swimming. sad

Very interested in working core muscles. Has an emergency section 3 months ago and I can tell I've lost a lot of stability.

TidyDancer Sat 29-Dec-12 17:11:59

My gym has a personal trainer who specifically deals with medical referals. It might be worth ringing round local gyms and seeing if anyone can help you. Tbh though, any personal trainers worth seeing should be able to help anyway.

Stepping with bad knees is probably not a great idea.

Signet2012, not to be personal, but how fat do you think is too fat for swimming?! I started going when I weighed maybe 18 or 19 stone. I am under 10 now and this kick started my weightloss because it got me into the mindset of exercise and being healthy.

FiercePanda Sat 29-Dec-12 17:16:43

I'm currently waiting for surgery to rebuild my hips, and need to lose another two stone. My surgeon has banned me from doing any impact exercises, but recommends swimming and recumbent cycling (the ones with the proper seats, rather than saddles where you lean forward) to help with weight loss. It isn't easy when you have joint problems and can't exercise "normally", hope you manage to find something that you can do. Good luck!

Elainey1609 Sat 29-Dec-12 18:27:05

Hi ya
my mum has a similar problem with her joints, ans he comes swimming with me all the time.
i do it to keep active, im 20 stone and not to fat for it, i go early in the morning or late at night when all the old aged pentioners go and to be honest i look better than some of them .
i wear a well fitted cossy, one with a little skirt bit that covers up my many levels of thigh lol.

I wil say continue with the wii fit and just dance and you can do different levels....dont forget you also need to build muscle to loose weight. so do core training and and balance excercises on the wii fit.
water aerobics is also very good.

to loose the weight i think at the moment when ur starting build up the muscles a bit and enable your body to get used to increased exercise. .....slowly increase the number of episoides of exercise you are doing each week and it become more each time

good luck

AuntieMaggie Sat 29-Dec-12 20:44:22

Have you tried the zumba dvds? A lot of it is less impact than the classes.

Also my mums friend lost weight dping salsa.

AuntieMaggie Sat 29-Dec-12 20:53:05

Actually there are a couple of women in my zumba class with joint problems and they just adjust the routines to what they can do - as long as you can walk and keep moving you burns calories so don't rule it out completely.

Viewofthehills Sat 29-Dec-12 20:59:33

How much weight do you want to lose?
For example if you want to lose 2 stone, at the moment you are exercising with the equivalent of a toddler on your back.
Regular exercise WILL make you less fatigued. It won't feel like it to start with, but it is worth persisting. I wouldn't say you should rule out most activities, but you do need to start slowly and that may mean 10 minutes to start with.If that aggravates your joints you know it was a bit too much. if it was fine you can do an extra 5/10 minutes the next time. Obviously avoid high impact stuff that involves running/ jumping.
If you are doing pilates, I would say try something to give you more of a cardiovascular workout, so static bike/cross trainer/ aquarobics would all be good. So would getting a walk in while your DS is on a scooter for example.

roughtyping Sun 30-Dec-12 00:01:26

Thanks for all the replies.

Lavender yes it's hypermobility syndrome. Have been seen by physio (attached to rheum with good understanding of hypermobility apparently) who has given me strengthening exercises but discharged me saying there was nothing more they could do. Had been on ibuprofen 800mg, wasn't really touching it, now on co-codamol which helps a bit. Think a lot of my problems come from being naturally bendy and that being really pushed when I was 5-15 - took part in competitive gymnastics, my coach used to crack my back, have us push each other against a wall in box splits etc etc. I was very fit and had strong muscles though so think that's why it wasn't a problem then? It's now getting on for 12 years since I last did gymnastics though and I'm hella outta shape ;) and it's very painful.

Tidy will have a look around, didn't know that!

Fierce that sounds rotten sad poor you. Think I'm going to have to brave swimming sad

Maggie problem with Zumba is lots of twisting which causes problems - end up being so paranoid about being 'careful' that I don't get a workout IYSWIM. My knees dislocate easily, shoulders pop out, elbows crack if I swing my arms too hard, ribs go all funny if I bend a certain way etc.

View I know you're completely right re: keeping the exercise going to feel less fatigued. Trying to do it now while I'm off work so I've at least made some sort of effort. Need to get walking more!

Thanks so much for all your messages, very supportive!

LavenderBriggs Sun 30-Dec-12 10:52:50

It's good news that you've been diagnosed - that should help you access some support. Your gymnastics experiences have made me cringe in pain. I'm sure having strong muscles was the thing that made it ok - and that's the part you need to concentrate on now, maybe before you do much cardio.

I have been down the same - Rheum, diagnosis, 'specialist' physio, lame exercises, discharge - path. It's not a very nice one.

One thing that helped was a specialist pain management course - I learned a lot there. Hypermobility is a nuisance, but the real problem is to do with the way your nerves and brain deals with pain, i.e., switching pain messages on too often and too strongly and not turning them off again. Could you try and get referred to a pain management group/course?

Signet2012 Sun 30-Dec-12 12:22:35

Tidy - by too fat I mean I'm terrified of being seen by anyone in a swimming costume blush

GiveMeSomeSpace Sun 30-Dec-12 12:54:34

If you can fit in an extra 30min brisk walk every day (or even 6 days out of 7) for teh next 8 months, it will make a huge differece. Walking really is the best exercise for what our bodies are made for.

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