Saturday, July 14, 2012

How to Overcome Fatigue - Exercise!

Update - God is continuing to heal me, and I am so thankful! I am up to walking 23 minutes a day now, and have added some very, very gentle strength training (no weights) which is more than I can believe is possible!  Part of the reason is we cashed out some stocks to add acupuncture - so grateful that my husband is insisting we keep doing it even though I think it is too much to spend.... Have I mentioned how much I love my husband! Still keeping on with the "Guts and Glory" anti-candida program, and will persevere with it until I conquer this beast.

      The last thing a person wants to do when they are fatigued is exercise. And too much exercise is very bad for conditions involving chronic fatigue/ adrenal fatigue -it can put you in bed for days, weeks, or even months! But graded exercise is essential to overcoming fatigue.
       When I was at my worst a few months ago, spending most of my day in bed, the last thing on my mind was exercise. But God works in mysterious ways - I read a book I got from the library called "Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue" (I mentioned it in my last post), and it gave me the best advice I have ever read on exercise. It said that even if you are bedridden, do a little bit of exercise, even if that means raising your hands above your head three times! So I started there, doing gentle stretches in bed. This helped me graduate to walking around my house with a cane, then without a cane.
     Then I decided to tackle my stairs. We live on top of a garage with a very steep set of stairs. Every time I had to go out to a doctor's appointment, I would end up back in bed for a few days. If I wasn't going to be permanently housebound, I would have to tackle those stairs, and I thank God everyday for them! So I did - I started with two stairs, then three, until I did all of the stairs each day.
      Then I started tackling my driveway. It is really steep, but I figured if I ever wanted to get the mail (and not drive the car to go get it), I would need to tackle driveway. It took me a few weeks, but I eventually made it. From there, I just kept adding on minutes to how far I walked, paying close attention to how my energy was the next day. If it was worse, I would subtract a minute. If it was better, I would add a minute. In the book, the author recommends no more than adding 10 percent a week. Because of other things I've been doing, I am able to do add much more than 10 percent (at that rate, I'd be just now at the top of my driveway!).
           Now I am up to twenty-three minutes, which makes me soooo happy!  And how much I exercise is really helping me expand what else I am able to do - I am able to do more and more around the house. I was able to be social (for limited amounts of time - 45 minutes to an hour) twice this week. And I was able to put together a very simple fundraiser involving bath salts and essential oils for one of our missionaries. I just started last week to do strength training so that I can do the lifting and pushing required with grocery shopping, and eventually vaccuuming, without crashing back in bed. This is very, very easy strength training - I am not doing any weights, just 10-15 arm or leg lifts, alternating days, using my body's own natural resistance. Eventually I will add slightly more and more weight as my body regains strength.
          And how much I exercise is really helping me expand what else I am able to do - I am able to do more and more around the house. I was able to be social (for limited amounts of time - 45 minutes to an hour) twice this week. And I was able to put together a very simple fundraiser involving bath salts and essential oils for one of our missionaries. A month, or even two weeks ago, that would have been unthinkable! Probably the biggest challenge with exercising everyday is that since I have limited energy, I would rather spend it in other ways, like being social for longer periods or doing more around the house. But I see that it is paying off in those areas, so I am going to keep being patient and keep on keeping on until I am completely well and don't have to make those hard choices!
     Exercise has not been the only thing that has helped me recover as much as I have. Jordan Rubin's "Gut's and Glory" program has been essential (another post), as well some different supplements, and lately, acupuncture. But it has been key to my recovery thus far, and will continue to be!


  1. So glad to hear of your continuing improvement! God bless. xx

  2. I am very happy to hear of your continued progress! Keep it up, it will be worth it. It's hard to remember to set your goals for the day to meet your new restrictions, as opposed to what you're used to, I know...But, there is a balance to be found.

  3. Simply Faith - it's true, it almost takes self-control to do less, which is weird - especially when you start to feel better. But God is good despite limitations!

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