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Friday, May 27, 2011

So Why Don't You Exercise?

E-mail: Hey Ronnie-I am pretty new here...but have been following your blog for the past couple of weeks. I am sort of in a similar situation. For as long as I can remember I have pretty much had one IV clean out per year which would last 2-3 weeks and leave me feeling great. However, this past fall I was on IV treatment for a full 10 weeks...it was hell and even after that was all over my PFT's were still at an all time low. About a month ago I went to see my doc and my FEV1 was at 43% and he is trying to convince me to go on IV again. So basically all of this has scared the crap out of me. Since then I have been working extra hard to try and improve my PFTs without IV meds. I have always been really compliant, but I've added even more neb treatments & chest pt sessions to my routine. My efforts have shown some improvement in my FEV1...now up to 48%...but still not enough to make me happy.

The one thing that I can't seem to get on track with is exercising, and I think this could really make a difference. Some of the problem is because I am lazy...but most of it is because I feel like I have no time! As it is I feel like I have very few hours a day where I am not doing something CF related. I try not to let CF consume my life, but recently that's how I feel. Sometimes it seems like I spend my entire day doing treatments just to go to bed and wake up and do it all over again the next day. So I am sort of having a quality of life issue. I was just wondering how you manage to get in so much exercise time plus regular treatments...and still feel like you have somewhat of a life...haha?!? I should mention that I am not working right now...so I don't have that to worry about...but I do need a lot of sleep (to feel totally rested I need at least 9 hours a night.)

Anyway, sorry to dump that all on you, but I think what you are doing is great and very inspirational! That is a great improvement in your PFTs...I am very happy for you!! Anytime I am read your blog I keep telling myself that I just need to bite the bullet and do it! But easier said than done...{Name kept private}

Response: Hey {Name kept private}-Thanks for the message and trusting me to give you some advice. First, here are some harsh realities:

1) Hardly anybody WANTS to work it. It is only a select few people that actually have the desire to work out everyday.

2) You NEED the benefits of working out more than most people

3) Most people CLAIM to not have the time to work out

4) Without a job, you have MORE time than most people to workout

Now that we have those out of the way, let's talk about some solutions. First, you need to be convinced that working out is going to better your quality of life AND lengthen it. So while you, like the other 99% of the population, don't feel like working out, you have to realize that it is more important to you than that 99%. The key is just to start small and grow from there. Even if you can commit just 30 minutes a day to start, that's all it would take.I know however that you can commit much more, so let's look at how much time you actually have in a day. First, you get your 9 hours of sleep from 10pm-7am. Now your left with 15 hours. Take out 4 hours for treatments, leaving you with 11 hours. Now subtract 2 hours for meal prep and eating, leaving you with 9 hours. If you start working out 30 minutes a day, you'll be left with 8 and a half hours. That's 8 1/2 hours to do anything you want! Most people in the "real world" probably only have 2 hours at the most to do anything that they would want. You and I are actually very blessed with the amount of time that we have for our own "stuff". Think about people who work a 9-5 and then come home and have to devote their "free time" to raising a family AND working out.

So I hope you see by the last paragraph that you actually have PLENTY of time per day. Now, with the laziness. Sometimes this is the toughest thing to overcome. Here's some tips: First, commit to a small amount of time per day until you are completely comfortable and committed to that time. Once you are in a good routine, you can bump it up by 15 minute increments. Second, is there anybody that you can walk/run/workout with? It of course makes things easier if you have a motivational and accountability partner. That way the days that you are feeling "lazy" there is someone around to kick your butt into gear. I also believe that it is best, and most important, to workout on the days that you have no desire to. Really concentrate on pushing yourself on those days. When you're finished, it is more rewarding, and think how easy it will be to go on the days that you are motivated.

Lastly, I am a huge advocate for hospital stays. They really help me and I know that for ME, it is what I need. I've never done well with home IV's and the hospital forces me to rest. There are some countries around the world that make their CFers go into the hospital 3 times a year, and they usually have better longevity rates. I usually go in whether I'm feeling sick or not. Because you have to remember, once your lung scars or dies off, that's it, it's gone and it's not coming back. By staying one step ahead I think you put yourself in a better position to avoid that.I hope this helps. Sorry for the long response, I just wanted to cover everything. If I missed something or didn't answer one of your questions, please, let me know. Also, I wanted your permission to put your questions and my response on my blog www.RunSickboyRun.com. I won't use your name and I think it could be beneficial for others to see.

Please keep me updated with your PROGRESS cause I KNOW it's coming.

Do Life,
Ronnie

8 people had something to say...:

Megan said...

Thanks for the 'yell' lol obviously just what I needed. My Mum keeps saying that I'm ill right now and I just think 'I don't have TIME to be ill!'.

I'm clearly quite the stubbon little cystic. Xx

CFlover said...

You my dear are awesome!
You kicked M's buttinto gear and now your doing it again!!

I want to know more on your hospital vs home iv's theory

=)

Natalia Ritchie said...

I agree with everything that you are saying Ronnie.

I too think without exercise I would not be turning 30 in a couple of months. And I will exercise right up to my lung tx.

I also believe in hospital stays, though I have also been good about home IV's if I do nothing but rest. I also have many many times gone in, or on home IV's even if I was not that bad. To prevent the damage that could come.

I am told by the doctors now over and over that my ability to exercise while I have such a low lung function will make my recovery from tx faster, smoother, and will mean better things all around post tx.

So there are so many benefits, not only for CF patients with a acceptable lung function, but also those that are at the end of their time with their CF lungs.

RunSickboyRun.com said...

I totally agree Natalie, there's no doubt that the exercise you are doing know will help with your recovery in the future.

My problem with home IV's is I've never been able to make my self just REST.

Ronnie

CowTown said...

Ha....good to read. I need that occasional kick in the bootay too. I'm on the starting small level for now. I don't get why doing something that is so good for you can be so difficult to start. That's the lamest thing.

Elderly lady in training said...

Ronnie - you're so right about the benefits of having someone to exercise with. When my husband's here we go out running together. If either of us doesn't fancy it we still do it because we know it's good for the other person (and we can grumble about it together). When he's away it's just so easy to find excuses. He's been away this week and guess what, I gave myself a day off yesterday "to let my foot get better from a small strain". I did do my 30 minutes today though!

CFMama said...

In regards to hospital stays I would say as an adult with the urge to not rest properly and continue on with rigorous daily responsibilities and possibly not being coherent to treatments and antibiotices DEFINITELY go for the admission. BUT as I experienced very recently with Nathan. The hospital just wasn't working. Toddlers and children in general thrive on routine and that threw him off Big time. He refused to eat. He wanted daddy to carry him and all of his 5 or so blankets and pillow pet to bed with him every night and to yell over the balcony goodnight mama, goodnight teagan, i love you mama, i love you teagan. It is the routine that he missed. Rambling here...but for now we will be doing IVs at home.

PS. Good job getting "m" moving!

Gillian said...

Thank you, Ronnie and questioner, for asking and answering what I feel like so many of us have troubles with! This is really something I needed to hear. Having CF is totally like a full-time job itself. Learning how to manage my time to exercise and find the motivation to work out are things I'm still struggling with, but this helps give some perspective. Thanks!