Monday, July 6, 2009

So Why Don't You Exercise?

With so many new readers popping up I've decided to start re-posting some of my favorite blog posts every once in a while.

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 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 myPFTs without IV meds. I have always been really compliant, but I've added even more nebtreatments & chest pt sessions to my routine. My efforts have shown some improvement in 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 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 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,

5 people had something to say...:

CFMama said...

Thanks for this post. It is reassuring to me as I am faced with the possibility of Nathan's first hospital stay on IV antibiotics.

...and I agree, it is much easier to squeeze in short intervals several times a day (doing different activities keeps it fresh). I am hoping that by me exposing Nathan to all this activity it will become the normal way of life for him.

Denise said...

You know, even if you can't get 30 min a day in to exercise, breaking it up into 10 minutes intervals is just as effective. No one has enough time these gotta make time for exercise!

Cystic Gal said...

Hey Ronnie, I loved reading this post and I was looking over your PFT scores (??) to the left. Have you always had that big of gains/losses or is this new for you? To lose so much lung capacity and then gain so much back? It's dramatic. I want it!! said...

Yeah, I've always dipped pretty drastically when I'm sick and then am fortunate enough to be able to bounce back. Unfortunately my lows have gotten lower over the years and my highs have gotten lower as well :) Now I'm trying to change that pattern though! We'll see how this next hospital stay goes.


casey jones said...

Great blogpost! i've fallen under a lazy spell lately too! And im trying everyday to get my heart-rate up and cough as much as I keep my room cleaned, school, church, friends..."normal stuff"

I know all that doesn't keep me from handling my CF, I do. And it cannot go on any further, IM TAKING A STAND!! lol