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29837 tn?1414538248



Okay, you’re taking your meds and you feel sh**ty. Well, the Ribavirin is robbing you of your oxygen, but not all. You still have enough left to do what you need to. Weight lifting, jogging, swimming, all help to keep your immune system strong during and off treatment.

In my example, I have a free standing gym with 220 lbs. of weights. I work out with 55 lbs. I do 75 reps of pushing the bar straight out in front of me while sitting. On treatment, I pulled back to 50 reps. I do 30 butterflies with the same weights. During treatment, 20 reps, and so on.

The Gastro said it IS important to exercise during treatment. I know it’s the last thing you want to do, but the rewards are worth every rep you do. So, in the face of this enemy we’re trying to kill, let not the enemy win by being complacent and forgetting your entire exercise program (whatever it may be), but instead, bite the bullet and stay strong. An enemy hates a strong adversary...

26 Responses
Avatar universal
Whenever I finally treat again, I plan to continue to do some exercise, but not to the same intensity that I do now.  I will definitely need to slow down on the cardio due to the lack of oxygenation from the anemia.  But, I can still do the treadmill, just at a slower speed and stationary bike, slower speed.  On the nautilus equipment that I would do at the gym, I'd cut back from 3 sets of 12 reps to like 2 sets of 8 reps and drop some of the amount of weight, too.  That's my tenative plan for whenever that next tx happens.  If I'm doing great and can handle more, than I will, but if I'm very anemic it may be all I can handle.  It's a wait & see...  Susan400
475300 tn?1312426726
You go, both of you!!!  Ya'll are better than I am and I am 3 years out of TX.  Good Luck!

1280753 tn?1367761532
i'm 6 weeks into tx and my hgb is dropping like a rock. my NP said that i should continue to do light exercise if possible. i understand that low RBC's and anemia can increase your chances of heart attack or stroke....i'm a bit confused and worried to do any exercising at this point. i walk up a flight of stairs and i almost black out. my right thumb is in great shape from channel surfing. does that count?
979080 tn?1323437239
Could not agree more . I am on wk40 and I do 40 min. on my stationary bike and
some sit ups and push ups at least every other day.
I use a heart rate monitor.
29837 tn?1414538248
It would be better if you actually went surfing. Wax your board...

Avatar universal
Right on Magnum, good post.

I'm not lifting right now during treatment (I've been a weightlifter all my life though), however, I have upped my cardio to 5 days a week. I tried staying on the weights early on, but found I have a hard time striking a balance - I'm used to blowing it out in the gym, and I don't feel good when I haven't. So, I'd end up trying to do my normal routine, and feeling crappy for a week.

I personally find that 1/2 an hour a day of either elliptical, swimming, biking, or hiking is perfect for me while on tx. Just enough to work up a sweat and get the heart rate up. I try to do a variety of each week. Fortunately, I live in a desert climate that allows me outdoor exercise year round.

It's important to remember to strike a balance with exercise while on treatment. Too much wears you down, and you want maximum energy and vitality available for the immune system to use.
190885 tn?1333029491
when i tx i plan on light exercise...it seems i've noticed over the years here the folks that over exercise seem to not cure as well.(i could be wrong on that)..i keep my eye on this because i really like my exercise....i know i just can't exercise like i use to...i don't think it's just age either...when i was in florida last winter for 5 months my all my blood tests were much better..i got lots of sleep and only exercised on bikes and stuff...but when i work all day and exercise a lot at night i have to watch out or sx will show up...i think lots of exercise is risky and its better to hold off until after tx....billy
Avatar universal
I exercised until my hgb really tanked. Do what your body tells you. If you are having trouble getting your breath and you are dizzy I think exercise is not the best idea.  My body has a hard time with a few minute walk these days.

Before tx I rode my road bike or mountain bike in the park most days of the week and did a bit of light lifting several times a week. I am looking forward to being able to do that again.

- Dave
979080 tn?1323437239
it makes a big difference if you were used to excersising before tx
you know your body and how it reacts.
i thought about it in the beginning if excersise might negatively impact
tx but i decided that staying in shape is paramount because there is no garantee for SVR
and once tx is over life goes on one way or another.....
My hepatologist is telling me that I am tolerating the meds very well and I believe
excersise and diet play a big role in that for me.

Avatar universal
I feel better both mentally and physically when I exercise but found that my normal routine took too much out of me for the day.  So, now I get my exercise in my daily activities - like 4 hours of gardening today.  The bonus there is the sunshine!  

206807 tn?1331939784
We’re back to the sx being different for everyone. I truly believe if I had tried to work out during TX, it would have Literally Killed me.
233616 tn?1312790796
yes R Glass hit it, it depends entirely on the condition to begin with.

and the blood, and also the stage/grade is important.

since exercise creates a whole host of additional work for the liver it may be fine for early stage but not late stage. Reason is that the more cirrhotic the liver, the less it can handle, and since it is dealing already with trying to keep going, perhaps on 1/4 of it's orignal tissue, and it is trying to do that while still feeding you, breaking down toxins, (including the chemo, body byproducts, Rx's and all else) etc, oh yeah, and trying to do it with 1/3 less air....well it's not hard to overstress a heart and liver in that environment.

The reasons to exercise are to increase muscle stammina, strength, oxygenation etc.
However more oxygen can't be carried if there is no red blood to carry it, and muscle building produces many acids that the liver and kidneys must work hard to eliminate
so it's best to not push yourself too hard, especially when in late stage disease.

now we come to the runners, and power walkers etc:

It is known that anaerobic (ANAER means not enough AIR)  exercise is hard on the heart, so any time you are working the heart harder in an oxygen deprived environment you can damage the heart muscle.

That's why aeroboic exercise (AER means enough air)  is all docs recommend, because unless you provide enough oxygen for the load you damage the heart. You only make it healthier if it gets enough oxygen to burn while the demand is being placed on it..otherwise cell death is rapid.
Ergo, when the hemolytic anemia kicks in, doesn't matter how strong you were prior to tx, your body is now oxygen deprived, and your activity will become anaerobic much easier...
anaerobic means oxygen starved, and thats when damage occurs and it occurs regardless of heart rate. It's not strictly correlated to rate, it's the effect of not having enough air for the cell to survive under the stress being placed on it.
Therefore, go easy when it comes to raising your heart rate, especially with low HGBs.

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