Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
trappedat20

Can Swimming Make Dysautonomia Worse?

Recommended Posts

Okay so I know this seems like a dumb question since they tell you to swim and everything and that it's a great exercise for people with dysautonomia. I've been swimming lately though and while I feel a lot better in the water, the second I get out of the water I feel about 3 times worse then I did before I got in. It's like gravity slaps me in the face once I leave the water. I haven't noticed swimming making any positive difference though.

Today I went to the gym with my husband and went cycling and did a ton of strength training machines (sitting down.) I felt sick while doing them, but I took breaks and kept pushing myself and we wound up staying at the gym for like an hour and a half. Everyone has commented on how much better I have been the rest of the day. I'm standing for much longer periods without getting sick and was even dancing around the house. I got quite a bit accomplished today for me too. I went to the YMCA, took a shower, cleaned the guinea pig cage out, and did laundry. Which normally I can only do one of those in a day. I also drank a protein shake after my workout, but I feel a lot better having done that workout.

My original plan was to swim 30minutes twice a week and to go to the gym twice a week and do yoga once a week. I can't do all of that already btw, I was going to build up to it. Now I'm wondering how great swimming is though. I don't know if I should stick with the swimming or just replace it with the gym. The gym makes me feel worse while I'm doing it, but better the rest of the day. While swimming gives me temporary relief but the moment I get out of the pool someone has to help me out so I don't pass out and I'm bed ridden the rest of the day. Granted today was the first day I went to the gym and I am very very very surprised I was able to do it. With the exception of having gone swimming a few times recently (I just started last week) that was my first real workout since May. I'm completely surprised I was able to do it.

It's weird because I didn't feel progressively sick while working out like usually. It was just the same amount the whole time and afterwards I felt better. I don't know I need some real advice on this. Do you guys think I should stick with the swimming or just switch to the gym and doing strength training? Is there any scientific facts that support what I'm saying? I feel like everyone says the opposite but I wonder if it's like my body gets a break from my messed up autonomic system when I'm in the pool, but when I'm out it's like I'm having to readjust all over again. Kinda like an astronaut landing on Earth. The pool is my space and stepping out of it is like walking on to Earth for the first time in a while. That sounds really weird but that's how I feel.

I know swimming has really good benefits and I got really excited about starting swimming and really into the idea, but it kills me the rest of the day and makes me feel horrible. The gym actually made me feel better afterwards. Since It was my first day at the gym I don't know how long these benefits last, but I was standing longer today after my workout. Which is interesting because we went to Aldi's (a grocery store) right before we went to the YMCA and I almost passed out and my feet turned bright red because I didn't have a wheelchair then. I felt awful and I can't believe I even made myself go to the YMCA afterwards because I was dizzy and sick and didn't feel good. I went though and somehow pushed through feeling sick (I took breaks though the second I experienced pre-syncope) and then felt better the rest of the day. Not normal or anything, but better then I've been feeling lately. Normally I wouldn't push myself like that because it normally makes me pass out and has zero good benefits but for some reason I did today and it has a good outcome. Please share your feedback. I'm curious what other peoples input is and what they think I should do.

Also my husband really has his hopes up and now thinks that going to the gym will somehow cure me. I know it won't necessarily cure me but can it really make a huge difference? By working out and reconditioning and eating healthy do you think I could make myself feel like 70% better or something or somewhere where I'm at a functional level?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I will have my hopes up to. Here is to hoping that you get continued improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without going into details, I'll tell you where I am at with all this. I had tried the POT'S doctor, Dr. Benjamin Levine's, routine. It was very difficult. I went past the three months to six months which eventually wound up 45 - 60 minutes/day of aerobic stuff.

I decided that even though it gave me a benefit, it was too much for me, and not worth the fatigue it was causing.

I currently do 30 minutes/day on the treadmill at 3.5 MPH 5 days/week. I have many days where will power is the only thing that gets me through. Because of the difficulty, I will probably never go past the 30 minutes per day. I also do a 5 minute cool down.

I also do abs and obliques 5 days/week. The strength training I do is only two sets of whatever machine I am on. I can do the upper and lower body all together after my walk two days/week, or do upper body two days and lower body two days after the walk. Six of one and a half dozen of the other of how I decide to do the strength training as to two days a week or four days a week. I take weekends off.

As far as I'm concerned, my body is not normal nor never will be. I cannot do as other people and never will be able to. What I am doing already takes more will power to push through than when I used to feel more normal. So, in conclusion....I do what I am able because I have decided that something is better than nothing. Nothing means I am totally disabled with minimal activity. I am trying to avoid that by doing my exercise routine 5 days/week. Also, doing something allows me to be somewhat normal, though I would say that my fatigue level is nowhere near normal and probably never will be. I have good days and bad days, but never normal days.

I cannot tell you what you should do because I have no idea why you're having the health issues you have.

As for me, some doctors think they have a clue about me, but I still think they are in the dark as to cause and remedy. So..

I have made choices for me based on the fact that I have pretty much exercised my entire life and I don't intend to quit until I must. If I feel it is too much, I don't do it. It is a judgment call as to how much to push through and when to quit.

Also, as for me, I am 62 years old, and most people my age cannot do much. As far as I'm concerned, I'm doing pretty well for my age and for my disability. I also do not expect to get any younger or more fit at this stage of my life. I'm trying to be realistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankyou. I think i'm going to just do both this week and see if swimming continues to make me feel worse, or if weight lifting continues to make me feel better and if swimming isn't helping but weight lifting is I'll just stick with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing that pops to mind for me is, how warm is the water? I know some public indoor pools can be very warm like bath water. Personally, I cannot sit in warm water for more than a couple minutes (less if it's actually hot) without feeling extremely ill afterward. I assume it has to do with my inability to adequately control my body temperature. It's like getting a heat stroke just from sitting in the tub. Gotta stay cool. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's 82 degrees at the YMCA. They say not to go over 80 degrees, but I figured 2 degrees wouldn't really make a difference. Unlike showers where I feel sick in the water though and slightly better when I'm out, I feel better in the water, and much worse when I'm out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone is different; I started by doing the stationery bike; now I've worked up to the elliptical and rowing machine twice a week at the YMCA. I also walk my dog about 15 minutes every day. I've been told that your calves are like your second heart, because you need them to push the blood back up to your heart. Most of us are hypovolemic, so we need all the help we can get. Cardiovascular exercise is what is most important, even if you have to push through, but you need to test your own limits, and not do it to the point of exhaustion, since you will pay for the consequences later. Swimming is supposed to be easier on the joints, and wonderful exercise for the whole body, but I need impact, because of my bone health, and I also can be bothered by the temperature change, and the gravity issue you are addressing. I used to be on the swim team and a life guard when I was younger and healthier, and if I lived by the gulf, I may have to change my idea on the swimming...lol. That to me is glorious, swimming in the gulf; the temperature is just right, too!! My mom lives in Panama City, so I try to go once a year, but this time, it was in October and rainy, plus I was helping her to get ready to move. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone is different; I started by doing the stationery bike; now I've worked up to the elliptical and rowing machine twice a week at the YMCA. I also walk my dog about 15 minutes every day. I've been told that your calves are like your second heart, because you need them to push the blood back up to your heart. Most of us are hypovolemic, so we need all the help we can get. Cardiovascular exercise is what is most important, even if you have to push through, but you need to test your own limits, and not do it to the point of exhaustion, since you will pay for the consequences later. Swimming is supposed to be easier on the joints, and wonderful exercise for the whole body, but I need impact, because of my bone health, and I also can be bothered by the temperature change, and the gravity issue you are addressing. I used to be on the swim team and a life guard when I was younger and healthier, and if I lived by the gulf, I may have to change my idea on the swimming...lol. That to me is glorious, swimming in the gulf; the temperature is just right, too!! My mom lives in Panama City, so I try to go once a year, but this time, it was in October and rainy, plus I was helping her to get ready to move. :)

Oh wow I never knew that about the calves. Maybe that is part of the reason weight training helped. I will have to make sure to do more exercises that focus on the calves :) Thank you for this information :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your welcome. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also did the two times a week swimming. I love swimming. It was too much and made me ill. My cardo doctor said that swimming isn't nessisarily best for dysautonomia because we are not pumping the blood as we are in bike riding, walking etc. though it is a good overall exercise. I now bike ride, walk, and do warm water ti chi exercise. I do not tolerate heat well, but for some reason can tolerate warm water exercise. It is not hard cardo type exercise, but stretching movements in the water. Anything more than that makes me sick.

I think my persistence to continue exercising, has kept me from becoming more disabled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's interesting. I'm glad to know others didn't have good experiences with swimming because I thought I was crazy or something. I went swimming yesterday and almost passed out getting out of the pool and decided that was the last time and that I was going to stick to the gym. That make ssense about the blood not pumping as well. Warm water does make me sick, but the tai chi sounds fun. I have been very persistent with my workouts too as of like a week ago, so I'm hoping it pays off :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When i swim hard and havent for ages I get out and feel like my whole body is being pulled down by weights.

It apparently promotes low blood pressure despite improving orthostatic tolerance while in the pool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...