Exercise! - How to improve Cardio w/Back Injury?




BlueFlower
09-02-2010, 07:40 PM
HI :wave:

I'm new here, and one of my worst issues is my lack of cardio endurance.

I've always hated about any kind of cardio exercise (breathing heavy/sweating), but now I've got a crushed disc in my back and am REALLY limited in what I can do. Any kind of bouncing of my spine is out. I've considered buying a stationary bike, but have had those before and they just became clothes hangers :(

Has anyone here dealt with this?

Now that I'm motivated I need to find something I can do.

Walking is OK for me, but I cannot get my heart rate up very high with walking alone.

I am going to make an appointment with my PT (physical therapist), just looking to see if anyone has overcome this type of problem.

I really need to address the cardio issue. I went on a hike with the H last weekend, and I was so embarrassed at hard I was breathing. I'm a slug :(

Thanks!


Meg
09-02-2010, 10:52 PM
Hi BlueFlower! I'm a fellow member of the bad back club, so I feel your pain. :hug: Exercise and annual epidural steroid injections keep me going because I really don't want surgery!!

Talking to a physical therapist is a terrific idea because you can really do a lot to help your back with exercise (that is, the right exercise!) Focusing on strengthening your core will help build an internal brace of muscle that will relieve the pressure on your disk. The Big Three of back strengthening exercises that I do everyday are the birddog, McGill curlups, and the plank (YouTube has lots of demos). But your PT might have some that are better suited for your issues.

As for cardio, I do three kinds every day: the elliptical, a recumbent bike, and an arm bike. None involves impact, so no bouncing. Walking is painful for me so it's not an option. It's crazy, but even when it hurts to walk, I can still do the elliptical. My theory is that the elliptical motion opens up the space in my spine and relieves the pressure on the nerves. Maybe one of those might work for you?

Do you belong to a gym? If you do, you could try out equipment before you invest in buying something to see if you'll really use it.

Best of luck to you and I really applaud your determination to get fit despite your back issues. It's so tempting to be sedentary, but in the end you'll be doing your back a big favor by staying active and fit.

Let us know how you're doing!

BluCypressLily
09-03-2010, 11:49 AM
Hi again!

Walking is actually a great (and sometimes underrated) exercise. If you're huffing and puffing walking with your hubby, it's probably a good place to start cardio-wise.

I second the suggestion on the elliptical and recumbent bike--minimal jarring, very low impact activities that work really well. Do you have access to either of these? If you don't have a gym membership, it might be a good investment if that's an option for you.

Swimming and water aerobics would be great too, if you have access to a pool.

Good luck!


BlueFlower
09-03-2010, 01:20 PM
Good morning, thanks for the replys!

I've probably had too may epidurals at this point, so I really need to get FIT! Not just thin. I know they're not going to give those to me indefinitely.

The PT has had me working on the core exercises, I'll definitely youtube the ones you suggested. I'm good on those, find those easy to do.

I can do more huffing & puffing walks with my H. :(
He'd love it, but I almost want to secretly get in better shape before/while we we walk. I was embarrassed... it was not a big walk AT ALL, and I was huffing like stupid :(

I'm thinking about buying some type of bike or tread mill, and was wondering which would be best for my situation. Brisk walking is OK for my back, it's standing still or walking slowly (like shopping) that kills my back.

I wish I had access to a pool, I love that. Unfortunately the gyms in my area are over crowded and a little cheezy. I've joined gyms 3-4 times over the years, could never get into them. I'd rather do this at home.

Thanks! It was suggested on my into thread to find a support group here, so I'll search those theads today! Thanks! :)