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Stairmaster Is A Good Exercise


jangle
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For the past 4 weeks I've been doing the stairmaster, and I've found it's been a lot more efficient at lowering my heart rate than simply jogging.

Before I started this last exercise regiment I tested my HR after 5 minutes of standing (still) I was in the 112-122 range (122 max)

Now I'm at 99-105 range after 5 minutes of standing, and I extended it to 6.5 minutes and it kept in that range.

Symptomatically I'm about the same, but I have had an increase in partial remission moments throughout the day.

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Stairmaster is my FAVORITE cardio exercise. running has always made me feel terrible ( even years and years before POTS). I want to continue using it because when I'm healthy it makes me feel fantastic, but my POTS specialist neurologist wants me to stick with a recumbent bike because its better for circulation and you don't have to be upright. grrr i wish i could be upright.

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Jangle: What happens if you were to carry hand weights? Any changes in your performance and symptoms? I wonder if load matters more than intensity (speed) / duration.

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Your thread comes at a perfect time. I'm just wrapping up a 4 part-20 day each- exercise study looking at exercise and how it effects me. Does it cause post exertional crash? Does upright or recumbent help? Level of intensity? Frequency, etc. For me, exercise has been a double edge sword, helping me this past year to become more functional but also causing me to crash harder and longer.

I am planning to post a thread on this soon but clearly we are all different when it comes to exercise- both in terms of where we are on the dysautonomic continuum (mild- severe) and in terms of what other conditions coexist (autoimmune, CFS, mast cell, etc.). It is interesting to me that while most doctors agree we all need exercise, there is a vast disparity between what is reported in clinics on this topic. For instance, Dr. Ben Levine's well known study on POTS and the "grinch" heart advocates for gradual progression from recumbent to upright as well as less frequent and slow to more often and strenuous. Clearly this works for some POTS patients but not all. Dr. Randy Thompson, in Pensacola, FL told me that he has sent nearly a dozen patients to Dr. Levine to try his exercise program and not one has been able to successfully complete it. Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Rowe recently published a report demonstrating how exercise (specifically leg lifts at various degrees) attenuated the symptoms of patients who have CFS, which as you know commonly coexists with POTS. Dr. Lawrence Afrin, MCAD specialist, confirms exercise causes mast cell degranulation which can exacerbate symptoms of MCAD yet encourages his patients to find the right balance.

I'm thrilled you have found an exercise that works well for you. It is especially interesting that you've noted a reduction in HR following stair master exercise. I wish I could say I've found anything (other than BBs which I can't tolerate) which help to reduce my HR. Nonetheless, I grey out most anytime I do upright exercise of any kind other than mild walking. And I am particularly unsteady on any upright machine (treadmill, upright bike, eliptical, etc) with balance difficulties. So, is the stair master is great for you, yes. is the stair master a great fit for me, no.

The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. In fighting to regain a more normal life, I have to become the researcher and the scientist- identifying hypotheses, and slowly (one at a time) testing them to figure out what works best for my body. You have done that with your exercise (which I suspect is the most critical treatment for us all). Good for you!

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Very interesting points Kelly. I look forward to reading your post.

The Levine Protocol sounds quite hard core and personally I think people don't have to excercise for 1 hr a day 5 or 6 times a week to see benefits. You can do less and still see results especially if you never did anything before!

I have started excercising after being very sick last year. I have been a lot feeling better this year and have introduced excercise which has helped a lot but to be honest when I started feeling better at the end of last year I wasn't doing anything different.

I love swimming and have been doing that although I wouldnt have done it so much last year when I was feeling much more lightheaded.

As everyone says it is an individual thing and you just have to find what suits you.

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Yes, I have benefitted from doing less and more gentle forms of exercise. The most cardio I have done is on a recumbent bike. I did that for several months and it did get easier over time. The problem with that was that my HR didn't always calm down after the exercise, and the after effects sometimes lasted for days. I know we are all different, but I just can't imagine doing upright cardio. I am very functional, work full time, etc. but just the thought of cardio gives me knots in my stomach. I can't imagine how someone with severe POTS could tolerate it.

I worry that people may try cardio and give up on exercise altogether if it doesn't work. I wish somoene will offer a more gentle exercise routine as an alternative.

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Good to hear you're doing well on this. Hope you continue to see progress.

Fwiw, I'm not even allowed to do the treadmill hr test so the stairmaster is out for me. I have a left

bundle branch block that showed up early in my me/cfs dx. I lose all my co-ordination if

I try to run for more than appr. 50 ft. I suspect it's related to the ataxia (probably gluten ataxia) I had from 1990 - 2006.

Great info kelly. Thanks. Tc .. X

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I agree with a lot of you, it seems like each of us is different. Walking seems to help me, but stairs are a big no-no. I seem to need to do very gentle exercise. At first I could only walk very short distance, but now I am walking 1 1/2 miles at a time 5-7 days a week, I am hoping with good weather to slowly increase. My hope is that as I increase this, maybe I will then be able to do stairs and other things. But even if it doesn't, it has helped my body re-gain some strength

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