Most studies agree that exercise is vital to maintaining muscle and treating fibromyalgia symptoms, but of course the pain often keeps people away from the gym. Most exercise is safe, but that doesn’t mean it’s for YOU. You’ll want to choose workouts and exercises that don’t put too much strain on your already sore joints, especially at first. You just need to listen to your body and know its limits.
Over time, exercise might be your best bet in terms of managing pain, so it’s something you should incorporate every day. Strengthening muscles can help them get stronger and support your body better. It can relieve stiffness, soreness, pain and swelling as well as prevent atrophy and fight fatigue.
Start with the basics: walking, cycling, treadmill, elliptical etc. You’ll want to stick with things that are low impact and stress off the joints at first: swimming is BAD ASS for fibro patients. Some patients feel too much stress when doing exercises involving coordination like Zumba or Kickboxing, but you might find you enjoy them more, even if you can’t do all the moves. Simply listen to your body, and make modifications if you need to (ask the instructor for easier options after class if you have trouble during some parts). It’s not usually advised to start with advanced programs and you might experience a bit of a flare up at first, so stick to easy exercises like walking and you’ll be fine. Consistency is more important than intensity for fibromyalgia sufferers, and even regular beginners will experience some soreness at first. Strength building exercises like squats, lunges, bicep curls, pushups and ab work can help, but they aren’t recommended at first, unless you can manage them with little discomfort. Stick to body weight at first, weight training is not usually recommended at first, but might be something to look into once you get into the swing of things. Keeping your movements nice and controlled will help you build strength without tweaking out your joints or causing more stress than you need to.
If possible, try to squeeze in a half hour of movement a day, with 3-4 days a week being a bit more intense (meaning try to fit in at least a walk or something physical every day, and aim to add intensity with strength exercises at least a few days a week). On days you feel more stiff, simply walk and on days when you have more energy, add some oomph and challenge yourself with some basic exercises. Take rest days when you need to. If you’re following a DVD or taking a class, simply swap out exercises that you feel are too challenging with ones you’ve got down (jumping squats can become regular squats, pushups can be done from the wall, jumping jacks can become a march in place). It’s your workout: you can do it your way. Warm up and cooldown are especially important to reduce injury and discomfort.
I do urge you to seek out resources for fibromyalgia patients, as well as talk to your doctor about any limitations you have physically. There is a difference between pain and discomfort: discomfort will be normal, especially when you’re sore to begin with. Expect it, but look for signs of pain. Any pain = stop what you’re doing and take a walk instead. The important thing is to get used to moving everyday, and once your body gets a wee bit stronger, you’ll be able to take on more and more. Consistency - not perfection - is key.
(Yoga can be great for flexibility, but advanced yoga can be a lot of stress on your elbows, knees and hips. Try beginner poses at first and listen to your body, but many fibro patients love the practice once they get stronger).
Hope this helps! Make sure to talk to your doc before starting a fitness program!
Don’t know what happened! Fiddled a bit, couldn’t get in, and sent an email to support. Hadn’t heard back, but everything appears to be up and running this morning!
Will be posting yesterday’s questions all morning. Sorry for the delay.
Most studies will show you’ll burn more calories on a treadmill, but the elliptical can help take some pressure off your knees/joints. Neither is really better than the other: it really depends on you and your body!
Doing the same thing over and over can lead to boredom, stall results and get your body conditioned to only one range of motion. So you might want to consider a program that includes lots of different kinds of cardio, like the treadmill, the elliptical, cycling, maybe some rowing, or other cardio exercises to keep your heart rate up. :)
via Business Insider
Procter & Gamble has agreed to never again run an ad for its CoverGirl mascara because it used “enhanced post-production” and “photoshopping” to make eyelashes look thicker than they were in real life. P&G agreed to the ban even though it disclosed in the ad that the image was enhanced.
The move is the latest in a series of baby steps that U.S. and international advertising regulators have taken to ban the use of Photoshop in advertising when it is misleading to consumers.
LOVED this. :)
“It’s Okay to be Neither,” By Melissa Bollow Tempel
Alie arrived at our 1st-grade classroom wearing a sweatshirt with a hood. I asked her to take off her hood, and she refused. I thought she was just being difficult and ignored it. After breakfast we got in line for art, and I noticed that she still had not removed her hood. When we arrived at the art room, I said: “Allie, I’m not playing. It’s time for art. The rule is no hoods or hats in school.”
She looked up with tears in her eyes and I realized there was something wrong. Her classmates went into the art room and we moved to the art storage area so her classmates wouldn’t hear our conversation. I softened my tone and asked her if she’d like to tell me what was wrong.
“My ponytail,” she cried.
“Can I see?” I asked.
She nodded and pulled down her hood. Allie’s braids had come undone overnight and there hadn’t been time to redo them in the morning, so they had to be put back in a ponytail. It was high up on the back of her head like those of many girls in our class, but I could see that to Allie it just felt wrong. With Allie’s permission, I took the elastic out and re-braided her hair so it could hang down.
“How’s that?” I asked.
She smiled. “Good,” she said and skipped off to join her friends in art.
‘Why Do You Look Like a Boy?’
Will be answering your questions today between 5pm and 8pm (and possibly again in the wee hours… those of you who’ve figured out that I’m a late night question kind of gal send in the funniest ones!).
Looking specifically for holiday themed questions, but leaving it open! As always, I do get tons of questions and can’t possibly get to all of them. Keep them unique, specific and think about questions that you don’t see everyday!
Send your questions here! www.fitvillains.tumblr/ask
This picture makes me cry. By no means is it the worst of its kind, but it represents a big problem we have here on Tumblr.
I love Tumblr. I find inspiration here every, single day. I love hearing from you guys, and seeing your familiar names pop up in my dashboard. But in between the recipes, workouts and tips, there’s an alarming (ALARMING, SADDENING, DANGEROUS) amount of Thinspo (pro-thin) and ProAna (pro-anorexia/eating disorders) blogs out there claiming to be pro-health. Some are quite obvious, and others not so much.
I’m not calling anyone out, nor do I think that all blogs with the following signs are terrible. I’m not mad at the girls who run these blogs: this is how they are reaching out and when you’re falling you hold on to whatever you can, including building a community of people who feel the same way. There’s a lot more going on than just the posts, so my purpose is not to bash them but to point out some of the characteristics of a blog that YOU might not want to follow. Communities can be great, but only if they’re helping. Many of these blogs reinforce the hurt we feel, which leaves us weaker not stronger. It’s up to the bloggers to change their tone if they choose. But it’s up to you to make sure the messages on your dashboard aren’t hurting you longterm.
Before you follow, look for some of the signs of an unhealthy blog:
Excerpt from Good.is
Are you generous with foul language on Twitter? A new website is asking digital potty-mouths to translate their four-letter words into philanthropic donations. The aptly named Charity Swear Box does for tweets what the glass jar on your counter does for real-life speech, encouraging swearers to pledge a dollar per smutty tweet to charity.
Here’s how it works: Pass along your Twitter info to Charity Swear Box, which will scan your tweets for a user-generated list of naughty words. At the end of the month, the site counts how many times you swore, then lets you know how much money you owe. It is, of course, just a suggested donation, and you get to pick the charity from a list of options including 50/50, which fights famine in East Africa, or the equally irreverent Fuck Cancer.
While the site’s definition of a swear word might verge on the prude side—the words “sex” and “porn” count—so far the project has “caught” more than $33,000 worth of swears in a little more than two months. (It may come as no surprise that the f-bomb and s-word top the list of the most abused profanities.) The only problem with the project? There may be no incentive to actually quit swearing when the money’s going to a worthy cause.
Go for it! No matter what anyone says, the best time to workout is when you’re most likely to DO it and STICK TO it. Mornings and afternoons aren’t for everyone! (I have a friend who works as a bartender, and her ‘best’ time to workout is at 4am. AFTER her shift and BEFORE the kids wake up).
Sometimes, night is my best time to workout too. The only thing to be concerned about is whether or not it affects your sleep. Some people sleep better post workout, and others (myself included) get too jazzed to fall asleep soundly. Late night workouts for me, usually mean early morning bedtimes, so I factor in whether or not I’ll get enough sleep if that’s the case. If you have trouble falling asleep, try to give yourself a few hours before bedtime to ‘cooldown’.
Keep tabs of your sleeping patterns, make changes when you need to, but feel free to get your sweat on YOUR way!
Happy holidays to you too! Hope they’re healthy and happy dear!
Both kettlebells and dumbbells are useful, highly versatile equipment, but kettlebells require more advanced emphasis on technique and proper form. If you’re a beginner, and you have to choose between the two, dumbbells are the way to go. Form is still important, but you’ll find more resources, more DVD’s and more workout suggestions using dumbbells as opposed to kettlebells at the moment. If you have a chance to invest in kettlebells later, you always have that option. If so, consider taking a class or investing in DVD’s that use them exclusively for form and technique tips.
Wrist and ankle weights should be lightweight and used with caution (if you’re incorporating them into your cardio). Too heavy, and you can cause problems in your joints. There are ankle weights that go up to 10-20lbs which are useful for floor exercises (think pilates, ab work or butt burners like firehydrants or donkey kicks). They should be strapped on tight and YOU should be in control of the movement (keep your muscles contracted). I don’t typically recommend them until you’ve got a good handle on the exercises you’re doing, meaning good form. For things like running or walks, I often prefer recommending going faster/adding inclines as opposed to adding weight.
If you’re buying ankle weights, opt for an adjustable pair (they usually have pockets where you can add or remove weight on your own). Start on the low end, and adjust them for the exercise you’re doing.
Hope this helps!
Have you tried going on your elbows? If not, try that for the exercises that allow it, it can save you some strain (for the plank jacks & climbers, try it on your elbows and reduce your speed). You can also try the moves on an incline (like with your hands on the couch) to make the move easier on your upper body while still keeping your heart rate up. The lower the incline, the harder you work. Keep your body in one straight line at all times when you lean: same form as from the floor.
Sometimes, moves hurt in certain places because we’re using improper form. Make sure that your hands and/or elbows are directly under your shoulders, chest and chin relaxed (not pulled into the chest), keep your abs pulled in tight (belly button to back), butt down and quads contracted for any moves in plank position. Sometimes we make the move harder than it should be by forgetting simple form tricks. With a mirror, make sure you have good form while doing the move and make modifications is not, both for your hands and your elbows.
Hope this helps! If you feel too much tension in your wrists in plank, elbows and forarems are your best friends. Some people also use wraps or supports, but I don’t typically recommend them, unless you have an actual strain (however, it might be something you want to look into if the problem persists). As always, listen to your body!
Date Oopsie: what happens when you let one rip on your first time in your date’s home.
Thanks to runrunningrunner for the suggestion!
Warning: the truth is OUT.
Girls poop. Girls fart.
I can already hear some of you screaming ‘NOOOOOOO!!!! Chichi, WHYYY!?’. Ha! Ladies, you may be able to deny it to everyone else, but I share those bathrooms. And you totally poop! And fart. And (surprise) your boyfriends know it.
We poop before we learn how to eat, walk, talk and even before we know what poop is. So why all the hush hush when it comes to GIRLS pooping? Yes, poop is a gross topic, but I’m not suggesting we all march our pooping pride down the street. I’m talking about shaming poop by insisting that we don’t do it. We’ve learned to think it’s cute, but it could have more of an effect on us than we’d like to think.
‘Toning’ (or muscle conditioning) is the result of your body adapting to new stresses. It happens with each workout (the level at which depends on what you put into it) and the rate at which it happens depends entirely on you. Fat loss is something different: you can build and condition a muscle all you want, but in order to see it, you need to lose the fat on top. That’s a process that takes time as well, and is a combination of diet, overall exercise and changing your body composition.
In short: “toning” happens when you push your body in new ways. Fat loss lets you see the muscles better. Many people have six packs already: they just can’t see them with the fat on top.
For most people with 20-30lbs or more to lose, a rate of 1-2 lbs a week is typically healthy and achievable with small changes. The smaller you get, the slower the weight loss, or the more specific the changes have to be. As your body & fitness level changes, it will have different needs or techniques to play with.
The best time to start is NOW. Make your next meal or snack healthier, and try to move a little more today (a DVD, a walk, only taking the stairs etc.).
It’s entirely up to you, and doing it the healthy way with small changes that you can live with is the key to success. Diets and short term plans don’t work. Remember, many weight loss stories started with people simply making small changes and taking walks. Start somewhere, make tweaks as you go, and you’ll get there. Don’t worry about doing it quickly: just do it.