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Exercising with Chiari 1
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Exercising with Chiari 1

I am wondering what many of you have been told about exercising pre-surgery.  I want to be as fit as possible but these stange feelings in my head (you know the ones) make me wonder whether over-doing it could upset the issues.

Heather  
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Hi we do have a list of activities to avoid, and swimming and walking r 2 good ones along with a recumbent bike if u have access to one....exercise is always a good thing pre and post op as long as u do not over do it. Talk to ur dr to see what he feels is right for u as he knows ur current health condition.

  "selma"
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The list of activities to avoid is very eye opening - makes you realize things you didn't before.  But don't avoid something just because it's on there...listen to your body.  If it hurts, don't do it.  Maybe keep a headache/symptom diary?  Helped me a lot...also helped my dr I think.

I originally tried walking, but that gives me headaches too...what a mess!  I started trying some simple yoga, avoiding most of the head movements though.  I think the resulting relaxation takes the edge off my headache, which is great, and the movements build & tone muscles.
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Thanks for your responses! Yes Selma, I do have a recumbent bike. Thanks for reminding me of that, haha, and I do walk the dog a little.  I was actually thinking of Yoga; did it last summer and loved it (when I was symptom free as far as I knew), but you have to position yourself facing the floor a lot (downward dog, it's called) and I don't know if that is good right now.  You would think that putting your head downward would be good for the brains, maybe even force them back up a little, get the blood flowing, but I'm afraid it might just spell "headache".
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  There r some yoga positions that r not appropriate for a chiarian.Try other types of exercise that do not involve the neck.

   "selma"
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Very interesting subject...My symptoms worsen for about 30 minutes after working out but in the long run I feel better. I actually lift very heavy weights and figured I won't stop until I CANNOT do it anymore. I have no had surgery but I have visited 2 chiari specialists (Dr. Di - Dr. Ellenbogen) and both told me emphatically there is NO proven on any long term problems with exercising. They said sure it can cause temporary issues but both exclaimed that any Doctor indicated it can cause long term problems is speaking opinion.

I actually find that some of my symptoms get better with exercise.
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I don't do anything that involves neck strain.  Most of the time I don't even turn my head!  Pick and choose which things you do.
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Personally, I think exercise is so important to keep our bodies working correctly. We chiari people are already at a disadvantage as far as that goes, so I think it's especially important for us to be as active as we can (keeping in mind our personal limitations). I like to walk, swim, and hike. I can't swim laps anymore without a swimmer's snorkel because I cannot repeatedly turn my head to breathe. But the snorkel makes it possible to swim laps pain and strain-free! I highly recommend getting one, swimming is a wonderful total body exercise. No impact, cardio, AND strength rolled into one.
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