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TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (41,587)
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
Posts: 16,790
1/12/09 7:46 P

Oh, I wanted to say also there IS truly an element of experimentation and each of us being different. Maybe I can do something you can't, maybe you can do something I can't. And with injuries, what we can and can't do varies by the day, sometimes by the hour.

One thing that is super important is to distinguish muscle discomfort from new use / exercise from actual pain - because some discomfort is reasonable, but pain is not good.

I'm having trouble figuring that out - sometimes I can hurt badly in my thighs and butt from walking, which I know is simply from exercising the muscles and it's OK, it'll go away in time.

But sometimes when I hurt I honestly cannot tell if it's "OK" discomfort or true pain and I really shouldn't do it again.

Often I push myself beyond my limits when trying new things simply because I cannot tell the difference until it's too late.

I'm hoping one day to either re-learn that myself or get some ideas and suggestions how to figure it out (and of course ideas and suggestions are better because I could spend years trying to figure it out by myself).

TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (41,587)
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
Posts: 16,790
1/12/09 7:38 P

Yeah, I have a similar problem. I have a herniated disc and basically everyone says "figure it out all by yourself, good luck!" It's been very frustrating.

Here's what I've been doing:

- be active as I can, be that from making my own food to cleaning the house, to pulling weeds in the garden. I have a calories burned caluclator and I track all of it.

- get a pedometer to track your steps - the more steps, the more active you are, the more calories you are burning.

- I do as much as I can as often as I can. Like you, when I walk for "exercise", leaving the house to walk, I can barely make it 5 minutes before I'm in so much pain I can barely stand it.

So, I try to just walk 5 minutes, then that's it, and do it 3 times a week. When I can do that consistently, then I try to either do it 5 days a week or increase the time to 10 minutes three times a week. When I can do that consistently, I change it again - but I don't push myself too hard beyond the point of exhaustion and massive pain.

So maybe one day in my experiments I find out 10 minutes is too much so I do hurt more, so I back it down to 5 minutes again.

- I do the same with other exercises like aerobics and the like. I have DVDs and periodically I try to do them for a few minutes and see what I can do. Lately I found I can do one of them for 10 minutes, so I try to do that consistently.

But I don't bounce around, I lift up on my tip toes, I don't snap or clap, because it REALLY HURTS MY BACK. I just put my hands close together for the clap and just touch my fingers for the snap.

I feel like I'm missing something, and I have to go right now to tend to something, but if I think of more I will write.

But the upshot is that doing those things the way I described, in the 2 years I've been on Spark I've gone from barely able to get up off the floor, often unable to even get up to get water, to making my own food every day, cleaning the house weekly, and of course, dropping 20 lbs.

It's slower than for those who can exercise as much as is recommended, but it really does work.

When we can do little, then little changes are worth celebrating.

COACH_NICOLE Posts: 9,354
1/12/09 4:49 P


Good luck in your search! It can be hard to find workouts specific to disabilities, but even if you can't find something, you might be able to find a workout with lots of upper body movement (in combination for lower body movement), which would allow you to follow along pretty well with arms only.


SSHADOWSS Posts: 248
1/12/09 4:28 P

I don't have a PT anymore and I used to have one of those arm peddle thingees, I don't know if it was called an ermogeter or what, but I ended up getting rid of it cause I wasn't using it. This was a couple of years ago. I like your idea of arm aerobics. I think I might check out to see if there are any videos specifically for just arm aerobics. Thank You for replying.

COACH_NICOLE Posts: 9,354
1/12/09 11:09 A

This is a tough one, because every person with a disability usually has their own unique health history and problems, making it hard for us to recommend activities. Since you have a PT, I would ask them if an arm ergometer is OK for you to do. Some gyms have them, and you can also buy your own for at-home use. We have an article on SparkPeople about arm ergometers (which are like a stationary bike that you pedal with your hands):

Beyond that, any kind of upper body movement you can do with help--boxing, aerobics (using arms only), etc.--but I would ask your doctor and/or PT for their approval first.

Hope that helps,

Coach Nicole

SSHADOWSS Posts: 248
1/11/09 3:49 P

Hello!! I just joined a week ago and need some help. I had Osteomyelitis and so had to have spinal surgeries. I use a cane to walk but cannot walk for more than 5 minutes without it causing alot of pain. My question is this: What kind of cardio exercises are there for someone who is disabled? I get bored very easily and don't know what to do. I do have strength exercises that my PT gave to me that I try to do 3 times a week. However I know that cardio is just as important. Any suggestions?

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