You are weaker than you think you are and stronger than you think you are?
By Dr. Mary Starr Carter
Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia sufferers can spend a lot of time in bed resting. Some may even spend 16-20 hrs a day resting. The pain and fatigue can be unbearable to even get out of bed. After just 4 hours of bed rest the body begins to decrease its muscle mass and fibers. Bed Rest can contribute to the pain because lymph and toxins become stuck in the body and inflammation can increase. Bed rest for weeks at a time can contribute to muscle atrophy and weakness of the stabilizing core muscles which could lead to neck and back problems.
Obese individuals can have a condition of muscle build up, tightness and weakness where certain muscles grow strong and big from the extra weight they carry and other muscles become weak. They can end up with the same inflammatory pain conditions as a Fibromyalgia client.
What about those who sit all day long? They also can end up with a tight muscle weak muscle condition which can cause pain and problems.
First why Exercise? Well we addressed that in our Benefits of Exercise article. Here are a few more reasons from Dr. Murphree's Health Matters Newsletter
Exercise is a wonderful stress reducer and mood elevator. It helps relieve mild depression by generating endorphins, the body's natural pain killers that are associated with the "runner's high." Some researchers have said that exercise can raise levels of norepinephrine — a neurotransmitter associated with drive, ambition, energy, and happiness — by 200 percent.
Exercise also stimulates important neurotransmitters that help us combat insomnia, irritability, and fatigue, as well as food, alcohol, and tobacco cravings. Blood glucose and insulin levels are decreased, which is extremely beneficial for carbohydrate-intolerant individuals and type-2 diabetics. (Type-1 diabetics will need to adjust their insulin regimen to account for increased exercise.)
Exercise also decreases triglycerides (fats) in your blood and LDL – the bad form of cholesterol, while increasing HDL – the good form. High blood pressure is lowered, and the heart becomes stronger and more efficient, pumping more blood per beat. Exercise increases the diameter of coronary arteries, greatly reducing the risk of heart attack. Exercise can even reduce the risk of a second heart attack. Among heart attack survivors, those who choose not to exercise are over 20 times more likely to have another heart attack than those who exercise.
BUT EXERCISE ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH
YOU MUST STRENGTHEN ALL YOUR MUSCLES
Myself and many of my clients walk daily, ride a bike, even have strenuous jobs with physical labor, but to properly strengthen the body we must include Strength Training into our Recovery and Fitness Plan.
The number #1 reason for Strength Training Exercise is to protect your bones and muscles. But there are plenty more reasons like increasing your immune system, decreasing your risk of injury, eliminating Type II diabetes, burning more calories, and Strength Training is even found more effective than drugs in fighting arthritis pain.
Where to Begin?
If you have any illness be sure to consult with your health care practitioner. But if you have Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia you may also need to work in stages.
If you have a debilitating disabling condition I recommend the Chi Machine or a Vibrating machine for beginners. These machines help do the work for you as you lay, sit or stand on them. They burn calories, and increase the lymphatic motion which can decrease pain.
Beginner and Beyond Stage
The next level would include an exercise program developed for Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Obese, Arthritis and Pain clients called T-TAP exercise. This is an excellent short (some are 15 minutes) simple exercise program that you can do in the comfort of your home.
T-TAP exercise helped me to regain my health and strength. It got me strong enough to start to lift weights. Many individuals have regained their health with this system alone. Charlotte Siems released over 100 lbs and has kept it off for years.
You may only be able to do part or some of the exercises at first but stick with it you will get stronger. You can use a variety of T-TAP trainings for a Total Body strength and toning workout for your entire life. But some of you will need more so when you are ready move on to the next stage.
Strength Training Stage
Strength Training can be accomplished in the gym or at home.
Many gyms are equipped with good Nautilus, Cybex and Free weight type of equipment that helps you develop your strength and muscle. My personal opinion after working out at dozens of gyms is that one size fits all machines are not as effective as a program specifically tailored for you. I recommend investing in a Personal Trainer for several sessions until you understand and can do a specific routine. You may want to work with a Personal Trainer periodically throughout the year to help challenge you and get the quickest results.
Chalene Extreme by Beach Body
Wow am I impressed with this Program. She is an excellent trainer who has very carefully paid attention to all the little details a personal trainer would. But the best part is that the cost is less than 2 sessions with a personal trainer and you can do it in the convenience of your home. You will feel the results in a week, and see the results in less than 3 weeks.
DON'T FORGET THE NUTRITION
To get strong again your body is going to need some specific carbohydrates and proteins. NingXia Red is an excellent way to fuel your body during a strength training workout followed by Powermeal a meal replacement shake. I recommend getting a liter of water with 2 oz of NingXia Red in it and drink this during your work out and finish it within 3 hours of your work out. Also make sure you have had your Protein Shake within 20-30 minutes of finishing your workout. Some people even enjoy a shake 30 minutes before and then again afterwards. Listen to your body and give it what it needs.
After a decade of only doing aerobic exercises and then living 2 months in bed and on the couch I became extremely weak, fatigued, and hurting. I did not have a foundation of strong muscle that would sustain me through that period of little movement. But THANK YOU GOD…. for that awful experience because had I not gone through that I would have never known how WEAK I REALLY WAS. Now just 3 weeks into it. I feel Stronger than EVER !
Remember if you sit most of your day you are probably weaker than you think you are. But give yourself just a few weeks of beginning Strength training and you will soon realize you are stronger than you thought you were too!
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Dr. Mary Starr Carter has worked with thousands of clients from terminally ill and chronic diseases to those who are healthy and want vibrant health. She has counseled hundreds of families who had given up hope find simple safe solutions. Known as the Total Wellness Doc she looks at all aspects of health to help someone overcome disease. She specializes in difficult cases like Fibromyalgia, Hormone and Adrenal issues, Asthma, Diabetes and Chronic pain.
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