Is anyone here able to participate in light exercises? Between fatigue and heart rate hikes, I feel like just taking a flight of stairs or walking a store for an hour feels like exercise, but I just feel like I should be doing more since I still spend most of my time sitting or laying.

How do you balance your POTS with the side effects of years of decreased activity? I’ve thought about gentle swimming, seated yoga, and I’m thinking about saving for a row machine since it can be done sitting as well. But currently I just don’t really get much exercise outside of just daily life walking. I can’t stand for very long though. I know that.

33 Answers

submissive_tailor
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I started with just 1 min of exercise such as a brisk walk because that's all I could handle and have worked my way up slowly to 10 minutes light jog. Im planing to get myself up to 15 min jogs. Ita been 2 months but the progress has been good!

DLeeper97
Answered 8 months ago    reply

When I try to jog, I lose my breath so very quickly.

submissive_tailor
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I have read an article once on someone who made an aerobics exercise made juat for POTS. Ill try to find it again.


rutha.95
Answered 8 months ago    reply

If by light exercise, you mean taking a shower - then lol sometimes. We had a pool put in specifically for me getting some form of exercise. Unfortunately, I also now have MCAS and can't handle the chlorine (going to have to change over to salt water this summer). However, I would encourage you to do what you can, even if it is small steps. I have muscle wasting after years of inactivity and it is very difficult to try to come back. The effects of muscle wasting also really impacts anything you already have going on - and Lord knows, we don't need another problem.

DLeeper97
Answered 8 months ago    reply

That’s exactly my concern. I’m 25 now, I think I’ve had it a bit longer than three years, but it’s been very much affecting my quality of life for about three years. In that time I’ve gone from, not exactly high activity, but a normal amount I’d say, to pretty much only when I have to walk on my campus or around a store or something. I don’t event go to concerts or events that I won’t be able to sit at in some way. So I feel like my muscles have to be suffering from the lack of use.
Mentally, I want to do something to help it, but then in any given moment I always feel too worn out to do anything about it.

rutha.95
Answered 8 months ago    reply

dion I really feel for you Gennie people with this. I did not develop POTS until age 40 after a viral infection - I’m 50 now so 10 years in. I went from highly active to living in a body that I no longer recognize.
I absolutely feel your pain. I was trying to work, raise a family and deal with POTS (didn’t know what I had for many years). It was all I could do to maintain and failed at maintaining a lot of days. Exercise - PHSHHH!
I have come to accept my limitations. No, I can’t walk around the block. No, I can’t join a gym. But, I have tried to start doing very minimal exercises even if from a seated position.
It is hard, but you can do it. Carve out a few minutes several times a day and make yourself do it. Believe me, you do not want the added problems.


georgette
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I can only swim or bike. the rowing machine makes me dizzy for some reason. I don't know if it's the motion or what.
but I've also started just slow stretches and yoga now that I'm pregnant - I got dizzy as hell at first with it, but once my body got used to it it seemed to help with blood flow and energy


e.gennie
Answered 8 months ago    reply

The best thing to do is just start exercising little by little everyday and you will work your tolerance up. I could hardly walk around a store like you said and now I can go to the gym for 2 hrs or more. I also go to physical therapy which is where I originally started. The best thing is to do your research on the Levine protocol and adjust to what you can handle which is what I did and explained to my physio.


wholesale.coyote76
Answered 8 months ago    reply

Try a wii.


ambitiousShella
Answered 8 months ago    reply

Two years ago I was struggling with the same thing. I couldn’t even make it through a day at work much less think about exercise.
My doctors did a drug wash and started me back on Ivabradine only. I was so de-conditioned but I was feeling a little better.
I started with biking, then moved onto Ariel and regular yoga, and am now working out with a personal trainer.
So in a year and a half I went from no exercise to working out 6 days a week, I can bike 30miles at a time, and feeling better than ever.


marylou.stpierre
Answered 8 months ago    reply

Look up exercises off youtube that you can do sitting first then as you get to where you can do those then go to standing exercise in the pool is better because you keep your body temp down and your body feels light so you don't realize the work out


janise
Answered 8 months ago    reply

Look into recumbent bikes
My problem currently is having enough energy to get ready to even get to a gym

But when I wasn't as fatigued I was able to tolerate the recumbent bike- even if you start off with 5 minutes and increase to 8 in 2 weeks
Little progress is a lot better than no to backwards progress


brigid.zamarripa14
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I started with a very small amount of exercise and now I run almost every day, unless I’m having a flare up.


Frida.Rochester
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I’ve built myself up over the past year but it took a lot of time and patience. Started with just daily seated stretching and basic beginners yoga. 10 minute walks. Slowly added in other things and see what you can and can’t do. I always drink at least 8oz of water right before exercising or drinking a banana bag/Normalyte etc electrolyte supplement.

Now I can exercise between 10 and 40 minutes a day depending on the day. Sometimes that 10 minutes is just stretching and rolling out my back on the yoga matt, and some days it’s 40 minutes of pilates/yoga.

Frida.Rochester
Answered 8 months ago    reply

Some days my body can handle a longer workout without much of a problem (took a long time and a lot of effort to get to this point!)

Frida.Rochester
Answered 8 months ago    reply

But other days my body can’t handle the exact same workout, and if I push through it I overtire myself and put myself out of commission for a few days. You just have to take it day by day and accept that your capabilities change daily, negatively and positively.

Frida.Rochester
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I spend most of my day in bed but consider my daily exercise a physical therapy requirement so I don’t decondition back to the point I was at before where I couldn’t walk across the house

DLeeper97
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I'm sitting comfortably on my couch and my heart rate is 95. I stand and it's 120-150 quickly. Exercise quickly makes it rise above 150 and I am immediately beyond tired and I can't breathe well.
I'm even on a medicine that helps lower my heart rate with those rates.

Frida.Rochester
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I feel you, I’m sitting in bed and my HR is 103 despite being on beta blockers, and if I stood up it would shoot up even higher. It’s hard but it is possible. Change positions as slowly as possible, work out slowly and avoid cardio exercises, and just do things you can do while seated.

Frida.Rochester
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I know it feels completely impossible, just don’t give up on yourself

DLeeper97
Answered 8 months ago

This comment is awaiting moderation

Frida.Rochester
Answered 8 months ago

This comment is awaiting moderation


hmalvina90
Answered 8 months ago    reply

No, no chance of exercise for me and I used to be a real gym bunny, I miss it a lot. Oh I also have M.E/CFS. Just standing up wears me out!


DLeeper97
Answered 8 months ago    reply

So, in all the testing they were doing on me before my diagnosis, I did a treadmill test. I lasted 11 minutes before they told me I had to stop because my heart rate was in the upper 190's, which was past where they wanted it to be. So I know heavy cardio type exercise like that just. isn't going to be an answer for me at all.
Standing really wears me out too. Like, extremely. I'll just, sit on the ground places even when that pushes social acceptability, because standing for more than a few minutes just isn't going to be okay. I get dizzy, tired, a little nauseated, and I can't keep my breath right.

Frida.Rochester
Answered 8 months ago

This comment is awaiting moderation

e.gennie
Answered 8 months ago    reply

There's a lot you can do laying down and seated and you can eventually build up your tolerance for standing again. Focusing on strengthening your legs and arms will help a lot to keep your blood from going straight to your extremities when you stand.


ruthevery
Answered 8 months ago    reply

Try walking. In not a big exercise enthusiast unfortunately but since purchasing my Goldendoodle who is being trained to be a service dog I have to get up every morning and walk him. But I'm finding I truly enjoy it.


v.lourdes90
Answered 8 months ago    reply

Picked up the recumbent bike for $150 at Walmart. Dr recommended for our 14yo. start at 5 min and work up to an hour a day. he says it will really help with the blood flow.


whitworth.lili
Answered 8 months ago    reply

My son has hyper pots and couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs two months ago. We found a virtual certified trainer who has Pots too and it has been lifechanging! Look up Mark Washco fitness. He can do a consult for free and help.


N.Jacinda72
Answered 8 months ago

This comment is awaiting moderation


Paulette_Higginbotham58
Answered 8 months ago    reply

I have resistance bands and do floor work. My EDS dropped a bomb on me a few years ago, so my old ways of staying active are still out of reach. I'm working on it though. Resistance bands are great, cheap, and crazy versatile.


glasscock.72
Answered 8 months ago    reply

Look into a desk bike. cheap and you can put it under your desk or by your bed


enchanted_mussel
Answered 7 months ago    reply

Swimming is great because you are flat while you do it and even if you are staying upright in the water, the water compresses your veins and keeps your BP up.


related questions