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is it okay to workout? would it make the disease better or worse?
Posted on 02/06/11, 12:52 am
10 Replies Add Your Advice
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Reply #1 - 02/06/11  7:17am
" I have found that it helps me. But I do very light workouts. If I overdo it, as with everything, I feel worse! If I dont do anything. I try to walk 15 to 20 min 3-4 days a week and lift a few light weights 3 days a week. I hope to build to 30-45 min walking, but it has been hard.
With MCTD, you have a greater risk of heart disease, according to my Dr., so exercise is important for prevention of that.
Good luck!
Mary Ann "
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Reply #2 - 02/06/11  4:12pm
" I second gentle exercise. It really helps my mood and relieves pain and stiffness. I agree with being careful not to overdo it because my muscles and/or my joints get inflamed.

I was able to swim last year, but that's out now due to shoulder pain. I recently started doing "senior" exercise classes at my gym even though I'm in my 30's. They're actually a lot of fun and everyone is really friendly. The most important thing for me is to listen to my body and modify or stop exercises even if the 87-year-old woman next to me can do them! "
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Reply #3 - 02/07/11  3:04am
" The general consensus is exercise when you can. Regular, light exercise is probably best. Many of us can't get our heart rates up without a wipeout the next day. "
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Reply #4 - 02/08/11  9:17am
" If it weren't for regular exercise...i'd be dead. It's the one thing that has kept me mentally in the game. I worked out regularly before I got sick...and when I got the green light from my doctor...I got right back into it. Now, it' s not quite the same of course...but, I do what I can and have to admit that I probably over do it a lot of the time.
I have had doctors try to discourage me from lifting weights...heavy anyway. But, I have read much literature that shows that there is no direct correlation in a significant increase in ck levels after weight lifting in myositis/lupus/mctd patients than in healthy patients. So, I lift. I'd like to say I get to the gym 5-6 days a week....and some weeks I do...but, realistically, I'm there at least 3 and more if my life allows. I do no less that 30 min of cardio, either running on the treadmill, doing the elliptical or walking the track. I do this after my lifting sessions. And, sometimes, I just like to do cardio...turn up my music and just get lost in it.

There are so many benefits to regular exercise...even if it's just a quick walk around the block....

N "
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Reply #5 - 02/09/11  1:49am
" I'm impressed! I look forward to exercise again when I'm further into the MP. I did walk 2 miles last week. "
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Reply #6 - 02/09/11  7:49am
" Hi Danny,
Exercise will help build your muscle mass that we tend to lose quite quickly with this disease. It will also help you to feel better about yourself and body image. There are days that my joints hurt so bad its hard to get dressed but I force myself to do a mild workout and I feel better for it. Your not alone and we are all going thru it together. Feel better.. Terry "
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Reply #7 - 02/11/11  4:32am
" I skied until I was 52, and pretty aggressively, but this year, I may decide to hang it up. My heavy workouts haven't been going well, feels like I'm tearing something. We'll see, I haven't given up hope for a few runs at the end of February and in March, and I will try to ride some kind of board in the surf for a few more years.

It's hard to face that this might be behind me, but I'm glad I stuck with it as long as I could. Really enjoyed the last few seasons. "
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Reply #8 - 03/21/11  10:33am
" Update: I was getting too sore working out for 1 hour - even with the seniors!. I've switched to a 30 minute program on PBS called "Sit and Be Fit" which I try to do every morning M-F. PBS may lose it's funding from the government, but there are DVDs available. I don't own any of the DVDs, but I like the newer workouts better (instructor is wearing pants instead of shorts/pantyhose and the music is more tolerable). You can find a schedule for your area and the DVDs here:

I also like all four of the "Stronger Seniors" DVDs. They're a little longer/tougher than "Sit and Be Fit" and have a lot of good reviews on Amazon. If you want to buy all four DVDs, it's cheaper to buy the set from the Stronger Seniors website than Amazon. "
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Reply #9 - 03/21/11  11:23am
" That's GREAT!! My new motto...a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing! "
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Reply #10 - 03/24/11  12:26am
" And as I mentioned on another thread, I did get in two half days of skiing this year. Definitely harder, but very satisfying.

I think hard exercise is good-- but only occasionally, when conditions are ideal.

And yeah, as everyone else noted, when I don't exercise, my mood deteriorates-- really fast. Glad this thread was revived. Did a 35 minute workout today, 23 minutes of medium cardio on the strider, two sets of 15 curls around 20 pounds or so, two sets of flys, three sets of 50 crunches That is an average workout for me... not pushing it, not backing off. But if I'm flaring, I try to do at least 20 on the strider, or hike/walk fast uphill for 20 minutes 3x per week. "

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