Exercise! - What do you do if you CAN'T run?

View Full Version : What do you do if you CAN'T run?

Jely Anne
11-24-2006, 11:09 PM
Or do any other sorts of high or moderate impact exercise? I have scoliosis, which is genetic and has nothing to do with my weight, but it does have to do with why I have a hard time exercising.

My doctor has said in no uncertain terms; no running, no lifting anything over 15 pounds, nothing high impact.

Currently I walk on the treadmill with a 4.0 or more incline, at 2.2 or 2.5. It doesn't seem very fast, but after the first quarter mile I'm really sweating hard. I've lost 7.5 pounds this month, so it is working, but I would like any suggestions on anything ELSE I could possibly do. (Keep in mind I just want suggestions, I will be talking to a spinal specialist about this too.)

11-24-2006, 11:39 PM
Elliptical trainer? Its essentially running, but without the impact. I don't know if that would work for you in your particular situation, but if the impact is the only issue with running, you might want to try it. Also, bicycles (stationary, either standard or recumbent) are great for low-to-no impact exercise.

Jely Anne
11-24-2006, 11:43 PM
The only problem with any equipment is I can't afford to go to a gym. I actually OWN the treadmill (this was before the money problems happened). But now I barely have the money for food much less going to the gym. If it was an option, I would definitely try it though.

11-25-2006, 12:16 AM
swimming! Often cities have discounted or otherwise low rates, and many of these pools are heated and available during the winter months. Swimming is zero-impact also.

Have you looked at low-impact aerobics tapes? I know a lot of people on the boards have had success with the "Walk Away the Pounds" videos, which are walking videos divided into "mile" lengths - I have seen people talk about 1, 3, and 5 mile tapes. You might be able to find these used or at a reasonable price. Someone else who does these (WATP for short) might be able to give you more info.

Suzanne 3FC
11-25-2006, 12:46 AM
How about sticking with the walking, since it is doing well for you, and adding something else like a strength training video that doesn't use weights. PUSH uses your body as the gym. The new YOU exercise dvd (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000K7JY7S/3fatchionadie) also uses your body without additional equipment, and it helps build muscle to burn more fat. Has your doctor mentioned doing anything like that?

11-25-2006, 01:02 AM
T-Tapp! www.t-tapp.com The inventor has scoliosis herself and has developed an amazing program. I do this as well as running and I am losing weight and inches :) It's definitely worth looking into. Just peruse the website and especially read the forums. There is tons of info there.
A brief definition of what t-tapp is:

I'm a believer, lol!

11-25-2006, 09:28 AM
Lots of good suggestions.

Jely Anne? would you come back and tell us what the spinal specialist said? My sister has scoliosis too. I'm sure she'd be interested. She has a gazelle and walks.

11-25-2006, 11:15 AM
The doctor's instructions seem to vague and general for me to give any specific exercise recommendations. Are body-weight exercises allowed? I would think something crunches would impact your condition more than some isolation weight work might.

My recommendations would be:

1. Ask your Doctor to be much more specific in what is and what is not allowed.

2. If your insurance plan would cover a physical therapist, ask your doctor to refer you to a good physical therapist who can tailor an exercise program to your needs and properly instruct you in how to do it.

3. Look deeply into Jelynn's suggestion of T-Tapp. Since she said the inventor has scoliosis herself, it is probably something that will be perfect for you. Take all the information you can find on T-Tapp to your doctor as well and get his opinion of the program.

4. If your doctor cannot be more specific (or is afraid to give too specific advise in this lawsuit-happy world we live in) and your insurance does not allow to see a physical therapist, I would start getting referrals and trying to find a good personal trainer who is well-versed in working with trainees with scoliosis or other spinal conditions. I know you said money is tight, so starting saving up little by little. It will take you awhile to research and find an appropriate trainer anway, so will build up a nest egg. You won't have to fund many sessions. Just enough to find out which exercises will safely work for you and how to do them properly.

Until then, I would continue to walk on the treadmill. You know it works for you. And you are 100% correct in making sure you talk to a spinal specialist before you take my or anyone else's suggestions.

Geez, I can ramble on.....

Anyway, best of luck in your search for options.. Just keep moving and you'll be fine.

11-26-2006, 01:00 AM
Jely, your name is cute! My dd's name is Kellie Anne!

Anyway, my son (18) was born with congenital scoliosis (hemi-vertebrae) and his 1st doctor was whacked.
Told us to get my son used to the idea that he will not be able to do things like most kids and that once he starts working he will want a desk job for the rest of his life. He can't play, he can't skateboard, no baseball or any sports, no nothing!
He was 8 when he was diagnosed and that came as quite a shock.
The doc just seemed to dismiss us with the caveat for my son not to do anything for the rest of his life.

We requested and were referred to a specialist that took our insurance and he gave us much better advice on how to live with it and remain active.
You are doing great with the walking and if your want more of a workout, up the speed to 3.0 or 3.5 for intervals of 2 to 5 minutes.

He is careful and he was given many exercises to do daily, but he is also very active and I would tell you of all the things that he does, but no two people OR scoliosis is the same.
What he can do and what you can do are different things and ONLY a doctor can advise you.

Go see a doctor who will answer all your questions. This is not an excuse not to do anything your whole life.
Ask to be referred by your primary care doctor to a new spine doctor.
That is all IMHO, but it has really worked for my son.

Misti in Seattle
11-26-2006, 10:11 AM
You might consider a Gazelle. I just got one at the recommendation of someone else her and love it! It is low impact and great exercise. I don't know that much about scoliosis so would recommend you check with your doctor first... but it might be worth considering. You can get the Freestyle for around $200.