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finding energy to exercise with chronic health conditions(7 Posts)
I have a Neurological condition that long story short causes major fatigue. I have three kids under three and I can only ever remember feeling the way I do with my condition, so to that effect it's normal to me and that's how I cope with the kids and have a happy time.
Before I had them, I worked from home and could sleep whenever I wanted, which massively helped. Now I obviously need to do a normal schedule.
My youngest is five months old nearly (and we might have one more). I managed to lose the weight after the first two were born pretty darn quickly, through massively cutting food and exercising a lot. After the first it was easy enough and after the second I actually dieted a bit to extremely, lost lots of weight very quickly. Anyway, it's been five months nearly and the progress this time is much less. I am not going to cut my food as much as I did before (previous eating disorders as well as other mental illness), but I am eating very healthily and moderately.
It's the exercise that has me stuck this time. I was swimming twice a week and will get back to that and I also did aerobics and lots of yoga last time. I also love to go on walks. The thing is, I am someone who finds it quite hard to shift weight unless I go really hard on the diet and exercise. I have always done this, but I am finding it really difficult this time. I get through a portion of a work out and I just want to lie on the floor.
How do people give themselves energy to get on with it? I really want to be back down to my same inches pre pregnancy before having the last baby (and just in general).
I find having a specific goal in mind is good. Make a bet with someone, buy a dress in a certain size for an upcoming event etc. I find unless I have got a specific focus, I make excuses more easily and my efforts quickly become diluted. If I know I need to lose x lbs/inches by a certain date or I will lose out in some way then I am more likely to stick to it. I also like to know that there’s an end in sight - e.g., I can think to myself “it’s not forever, you can get a takeaway in x weeks/months when you have done x” then it doesn’t feel quite so depressing.
I find when I’m low on energy I find strength training more manageable than (say) running. I also trick myself into going by saying ‘oh I’ll just do a set of x and a set of y’ ( 20 mins worth) and then once I’ve done it I usually feel like carrying on.
I think you are being too hard on yourself. If you have fatigue caused by illness there is nothing you can do about it (other than treat or fix the illness if that's possible). It's not like normal tiredness which you might be able to use willpower or incentives to power through.
In fact it's probably not a great idea to try to exercise too much when you are fatigued. Your body is tired it needs rest.
I have autoimmune diseases and this causes fatigue. It's horrible and means my life is very restricted. I have put on about two stone and can't exercise to lose it, I also tend to eat too much as I am trying to work when exhausted and/or because I am sat around and cant do anything but eat and watch tv and eating makes me feel a bit better. It's pants. I get it completely. But I have had to accept that I can't do what I used to do and go on a "weight loss/get healthy" mission. It's just not possible right now. In fact, overdoing it (which can just mean doing a few too many chores in a day let alone a workout!) makes my fatigue worse and lowers my metabolism so it is counterproductive
The recommended exercise for illnesses causing fatigue is gentle exercise. Such as gentle walking and swimming. Gentle yoga. And only as much as you can manage. If you need to rest, rest. Don't overdo it. Eat as healthily as possible as you are ill and it's good for you but it also might help you lose weight.
And be kind to yourself, and try for a bit more acceptance you can only do what you can do and your body is part of you and it can't do that much at the moment. Don't focus on the weight if you can. Just try to focus on looking after you you.
Apologies for asking such a direct question op, but do you have MS? I do, and one of my main ongoing symptoms is extreme fatigue so I understand how that feels and it affects my ability to exercise. It's not just tiredness, the only way to describe it is that it's like being a clockwork mouse and the key just stops turning. I find that walking is the best thing for me to do as I can reduce and increase my pace in short bursts.
Try a yoga group? I go to a really good one for limited mobility, ran by my local MS Society. It has helped me so much.
Look up Cocolime fitness on YouTube. She does MIT (medium intensity) workouts for people with chronic fatigue/pain
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