I was diagnosed the end of september and at that time also experienced my first big flare. For a few months before that I did not have the energy to exercise. Even now, when I think I can do the elliptical or something, I come away feeling exausted in a bad way and not refreshed and recharged like I used to. Will this ge better with time?
Lupus can bring dramatic changes to our lives. Creating a new normal is definitely a challenge. One of the big pitfalls is to compare ourselves to what we could do before lupus came on the scene. This creates frustration, discouragement, stress and depression all of which make lupus worse.
You do not have to do a full work out the way you used to. If you simply walk in place two minutes of every hour you are awake, you will have racked up half an hour a day. You will be rebuilding endurance. Gulfgirl's suggestion about keeping light weights handy and doing a few reps here and there will rebuild strength. Some gentle yoga stretches for a brief period of time, like five minutes, will relieve tension in body and mind.
Pay attention to your body. Pushing yourself like you might have done in your pre-lupus life is not a good idea. It will put you in bed. If you are having a particularly bad day, reduce your activity a little, but still try for some movement.
Bring your brain to the table by changing your thinking. Instead of concentrating on what you can't do, practice gratitude for every movement. "I am thankful I can walk in place for one minute. I am thankful I can do five reps with a 2 pound weight. I am thankful for my determination to practice compassionate self-care." Examine your thoughts and reframe them as positive statements.
I have had Lupus for several years. My experience is that you will have good days of moderate energy and bad days when you have very little. I have never felt the way I did before this illness struck me. I do know this for certain; when you have a good day do NOT overdo things. You may experience a flare if you try to do too much. My energy level has severely impacted my life. Best wishes to you
Most mornings I feel like I can't possibly exercise. I force myself to get dressed, sneakers on, grab my dogs and hike about 4 miles a day. The first 15 minutes are brutal, all i want to do is turn around and go home to rest. I do some stretches before heading up, by the time I am done, I almost feel back to my former self. I think the exercise really helps my muscles and my joints. As long as I am going early enough, not in the heat strong sun of the day. I have learned my lesson on that. Maybe the eliptical is just too much for you, do some walking and build up to a fast paced walk, I think that is much better.
Lupus is unpredictable. Lupus is characterized by periods of disease activity called flares and periods of relative calm called remissions. Start slowly. Don't compete with your pre-lupus self. Rest before you get tired. Also, you do not have to do a full work out all at once. It is perfectly acceptable to do ten minutes three times a day. As you listen to your body and get the right kind and right amount of exercise, the fatigue will start to lessen. Just don't over do it. In fact, walking is just fine. Linda
I’m with gulfgirl - walking with a shopping cart is a safe and easy way to get a little exercise. And it’s air-conditioned! I have to remind myself not to lean too much on the cart - i was having back problems, and it was from a “bad gait” due to lupus knees - not standing straight, limping....some physical therapy, and simply being aware of my posture has helped immensely. And when I’m watching tv in the evening, I set a timer to 15 minutes, pause the show, and get up and do some kitchen work, laundry, all that fun stuff for 5 or 6 minutes, then sit down and repeat. It’s just so easy to sit there and do nothing. I was diagnosed 2 years ago, right before my 70th birthday. I thought I was just getting old😟.
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