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Stairs, Good Or Bad For You?


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Yah, I am not sure why stairs are so terrible for Potsies, but they can make me short of breath like nothing else. I usually don't avoid them either, but I try to take my time going up the stairs because that seems to help lessen the increase in my heart rate. Hope this helps :)

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I find stairs hard too, I can run 5 km without too much difficulty (the first km will be the hardest), but I climb two flights of stairs and I am breathless. I wonder if it is somehow related to the running - the fact that the first km is the hardest - it takes my body a long time to get itself together - for the muscles to start working - maybe if we carried on climbing it would get easier when the muscles get going? I've considered stairs to be 'good' and try to use them. I realise I'm different to a lot of people on here who couldn't run 5 km, but I do still have POTS and am cognitively debilitated by it.

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Stairs are a challenging form of cardio. Upright exercise makes POTS worse. I think it is important to do some stairs so you don't lose practice. I have gotten better with time.

That being said I usually take the elevator or escalator whenever I can. :) There are many other ways to build leg muscles that are more POTS friendly!

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A friend of mine was diagnosed with POTS years before I was. The first thing she said to me when I was diagnosed (after we got over the fact that we talked about her symptoms all the time, and I could always sympathize more than any one else, but it never crossed our minds that I might have POTS too) was "well, that explains why you hate stairs!"

I'm not sure why stairs are so awful, though. I avoid them whenever possible. Honestly, I just don't care if I could be slightly increasing my tolerance by taking them. It's not worth how bad they make me feel.

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  • 1 month later...

Stairs are really hard for me! I made the mistake one time of thinking it would be fine to walk up three flights of stairs at a time... HA! What a joke. They wear me out, and I then have no energy for anything else. I also have proprioceptive issues (possibly related to my suspected EDS), which means I just have more problems judging how far to lift my leg up, how far away the step is, etc. All in all, a bad idea.

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I have tremendous difficulty with stairs! That was my first clue that led me to be diagnosed with pots -- I couldn't handle stairs without my heart racing and becoming completely out of breath. That being said, and the fact I have avoided stairs now for years, I think some stair climbing very slowly might be good to do. I've become so deconditioned that I find I can't walk up or down stairs without pausing on each step--so I'm trying not to avoid them as much. Yes I agree that upright exercise for us potsies is the hardest, but probably the best for conditioning.

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Stairs are the devil to me. I hate stairs with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. Ever since getting diagnosed with dysautonomia I can't even name anything I hate more than stairs. They use to make me feel extremely sick after climbing the 10-12 steps it takes to get to my room, now that I'm having seizures I notice that all of my seizures are related to the stairs and I get them either after going up or down them. I hate them and with the exception of the stairs it takes to get to my room I avoid them at all costs. Exercise is good for potsies, but if stairs make you extremely sick than I would avoid them. If they don't make you more sick than other exercises than I don't see the harm and more power to you. I need to be extremely careful with stairs though because so far 100% of my seizures have been linked to the stairs and about 75% of my syncope episodes have been. If they are dangerous to you than def. avoid them when possible.

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Having trouble with stairs was also one of my first symptoms. Winded, chest pressure, crazy pulse for minutes afterward.

But, I need to be able to go up and down them so I started trying to condition myself with just two steps a day and added a few more as I could, and now I can do a whole flight. It's not comfortable and I have to go slow but I don't get winded anymore. I have no idea if it's bad for me.

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Stairs are not my friend....with having Neurocardiogenic syncope and Pots I get out of breath easily. And also i have some severe issues with my knees so it's extra hard and hurts to use the stairs. But I can't avoid them most of the time because i live in a townhouse and have to go up and down stairs multiple times a day. When i'm out in public if i have a choice between taking stairs or an elevator...i would chose the elevator.

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Interesting to hear all your replies!

Gracefulprincess, yes I’m never sure which is worse, standing still in an elevator or stairs, normally I go for the elevator too and try and fidget to keep the blood moving or even sit if there's no one else.

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Before POTS I could take them 2 at a time and now I can't get up a flight or two without feeling like my heart will pound out of my chest. I have not passed out yet from POTS, but I can tell you I have felt the closest after walking up the stairs.

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