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What exercise works for POTS?


Suzanne
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I have always been very fit and active and it is SO FRUSTRATING to not be able to exercise. I have really scaled everything down to bare minimum, but have not found anything works well, I always suffer for days afterwards. I have tried very mild walks for 10 minutes, very light weights workout, generally trying to lie down and do floor exercises for max 10 minutes. Have tried light boxing, skipping, swimming laps, but have been really bad afterwards. Have heard that cardiovascular exercise is not recommended.

Has anyone had success with yoga or pilates. I would not last an hour class, but maybe I could try at home?

I would really appreciate any feedback, as I find with this illness, there is no release. I am barely working, housework is a major problem and I find I am sitting and lying around all day with no outlet. I always used sport as a release from stress and I really enjoy activity. I will try anything!!

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Hi,

I cannot tolerate vigorous exercise (I can get very short of breath and my HR goes crazy and takes ages to come back down). Sometimes I can manage a medium paced 25 minute walk, and other times only a slow walk. This is very fustrating.

I was actually doing Pilates for a year before I became ill and Yoga for 6 months beforehand as well.

I do a combination of Pilates and Yoga (at home) for about 20 minutes daily and a longer session at the weekend.

I have to be careful as a few moves made me feel worse, but generally, if I am gentle, it helps. If I do too much it can backfire.

If you do decide to do Yoga or Pilates, make sure you find a good instructor and if you can afford it, go for one-on-one lessions. You shouldn't need too many -- he/she can teach you the moves and you go away and practice them.

My advice is...take things slowly and gently and build up your endurance.

Good luck!

Ben

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I do same as you except for a 20 minute walk. I have 20 pilates tape for abdominals that I do Mon Wed Fri and another 15 minute ab tape for Tue and Thurs.

The walking I built up to and brought along my husband for fear of "feeling bad" or lightheaded. I don't necessarily have him with me anymore.

Yes. It's frustrating. I used to do MUCH more. But, the bright side is, some people cannot do anything.

I just do the best I can. I cannot sit or stand for long, so I adjust accordingly. Anything is better than nothing and go easy on yourself.

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I actually find that walking even when im feeling really bad improve my stamina - like if i feel ordinary i startt to go for little walks and gradually increase as my tolerance does as well.

I acually got pots after heavy exercise and skipping after a bad cold, so i know that it can set you back.

I do same as you except for a 20 minute walk. I have 20 pilates tape for abdominals that I do Mon Wed Fri and another 15 minute ab tape for Tue and Thurs.

The walking I built up to and brought along my husband for fear of "feeling bad" or lightheaded. I don't necessarily have him with me anymore.

Yes. It's frustrating. I used to do MUCH more. But, the bright side is, some people cannot do anything.

I just do the best I can. I cannot sit or stand for long, so I adjust accordingly. Anything is better than nothing and go easy on yourself.

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I like swimming too. But I also need to keep that to 15-20 minutes or I feel awful when I get out of the water.

I have a stationary bike at home I use sometimes. I find even 10 min before bed helps stave off hip pain in the night.

I do curves sometimes...Three times a week tops. You are supposed to go for 30 minutes but I usually only do 15-20..anymore and I don't recover properly as a general rule.

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Hi, my neuro suggested a recumbent bike.

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HI

I am an Aquatic Director at the YMCA. Water walking in chest deep water with water bars is good exercise. If there is a warm water therapy pool in your area, try taking a Arthritis class. It is low impact exercise. I teach it Tues & Thurs afternoons & usually feel pretty descent afterwards. Just do stuff at your own pace until you build up to more. Most Y's have a scholarship program if its a medical or financial issue.

My doc recently told me that building up our calf muscles would help the blood from pooling in our legs as much. Has anyone else heard?

Have a great day! :)

JEN

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I guess I didn't make myself very clear, but I think that is Dr. Low's point about building up the muscles of the lower body. I've heard it explained that the leg muscles function as a pump, essentially as a *2nd heart*. To quote from Dr. Low's handout:

On standing up, most of blood content gravitates to the veins. Veins have poor tone and are encased in muscles, which generates a pumping action when the subject contracts the muscles, as in walking. If the strength, bulk and tone of the muscles are increased ( by resistance or weight training), then contracting the muscles when the patient stands up will result in more blood returning to the heart and the better maintenance of BP.

My son has a pool in his yard and his favorite exercise is just walking around in it or using a kickboard. I think the water compression helps too. But unfortunately can't do that year round.

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I use a Total Gym and I LOVE it! I have been doing weight lifting for years now but could never get in too much at once due to the fact that I had to stand and change in BP and Blood pooling etc...

With the Total Gym I am at an incline, which allows me to do so much more and different forms of strength training along with cardio withouth having to be standing... It is also used for Pilates as well....

I have increased my muscle mass even more since starting to use it last year. It works for all levels of fitness.... Mu husband who is a Police officer and works out with heavy weigh training uses it when he doesnt feel like going downstairs to our Gym.....

ALso it is so inexpensive compared to other gym equipment on the market......Mine was $260 brand new....

I know that Nina has a Pilates Performer that is similar to the Total Gym.....

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I used to be really fit too, and I can't exercise much. The exercises that work best for me are ones lying on the ground, like pilates and swimming. I have recently started working with a personal trainer doing core strengthening exercises. I was really scared about trying it, because I can't really ride a bike for more than 10 minutes. But I can do the exercises with the trainer for an hour. I find that I get a headache and nausea if I do too much cardio. I think I will slowly be able to build up to doing more cardio, but pilates and the stuff I am doing with the trainer have helped my symptoms.

You may also want to search the forum, because this topic has come up a lot. Good luck!

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I used to be really fit too and was playing basketball and swimming competetitively before this all hit. Now, I try to excercise, but no matter how hard I try my body has a hard time with it. This last summer I decided to give walking on a treadmill a try, and I started out slow, but the tachycardia would never ease up. I kept pushing though, and trying to build up, but my mom made me stop because she took my pulse on time when I had been walking for 10 minutes and it was 212. So that didn't work too well for me. But I know that I often feel best when in the water, so I would suggest light swimming. Every single doctor I have seen who knows anything about POTS tells me that swimming is a good idea to try. But I know what it is like to go from being really active to getting tired after a flight of stairs! It is so frustrating! It is still a little bitter sweet for me to see basketball games and realize what I am missing by not being able to play any more!

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Hi Momdi - Absilutely you can do lower body.... You can do all kinds of variations of sqats and there are extentions as well for lots of different angles... My legs are almost more musclular now than when I was a runner. The great thing about it is that when you do the sqats you have perfect form and are in a reclining position so you can really focus on that body part without having to worry about the bP thing.

There are different variations on the Total Gym.... The one I have is called the Total Gym 700 club which I bought on Walmart.com

QVC also sells the same thing for a bit cheaper and I know that QVC has their 30 day money back guarantee so I think I owuld buy from them ...

For me it has been so great. I have spent so much money on different eqiupment through the years and this is one thing that I use religiously.... Its great b/ even on a bad day you can find excersises that are tolerable...

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Suzanne,

I agree with everyone else's suggestions. At time I have been able to use my nordic track elliptical. It is nice because it has the bars you can hold onto or stationery ones you can hold onto. I can also adjust the settings on it according to my ability. The other thing I like about it is that if you hold on to the bar, it monitors your heart rate. I have been too sick to use it lately though. During those times I just take brief walks. I also found the YAZ exercises posted on Dinet to be useful. Renee

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Recumbent bike.

I can set the resistance level. Started out really slow for only 2-3 minutes. Then up to 10 minutes a day. Then increaed the resistance. And now I am gradually increasing distance (speed, it's a stationary bike). Plus I've just added some small barbells to build up my arms.

Little by little by little. Then ofcourse there is the occasional POTShole ... and we start all over again!

Good luck on your healing journey.

EM

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