How to get some exercise when disabled? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-12-2015, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
Neo1130
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How to get some exercise when disabled?

Long story short, disabled vet here... Back, hip, knee, wrist and foot issues. Can't do most of the stuff I used to do in the military since my injuries and I am starting to gain a little more weight than I wanted. I've been 6 ft since I was 13 years old and about 195 through high school... Went in the military and lost 35 lbs in basic... Then I started working out more and made it to about 185 with mostly muscle. I have been out for about 6 years now and realize I am losing muscle and gaining a ton of fat and now to 215 lbs. I know chicks are digging the dad bod right now but I don't care about that.... What can a disabled person like myself do? Running and pushups are almost out of the question. Turning into a fatty... If I am on the route for much longer, I picture myself in Walmart, using an electric cart, breathing heavy with an oxygen tank keeping myself alive. I am 30 years old and should be healthy as heck but NO.... I don't want to let myself go....

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post #2 of 21 Old 09-15-2015, 05:19 PM
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Doesn't get much easier than walking and start watching what you eat, it's possible to lose weight with no exercise with a controlled diet.

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-15-2015, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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So cut processed sugars and carbs to start?
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-16-2015, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Neo1130 View Post
So cut processed sugars and carbs to start?
No need to cut anything besides calories but how you choose to cut them is completely up to you. I dropped 70lbs in a year with a combination of eating less and moving more, I still ate anything and everything I always did just actually paid attention to serving sizes and stick to them.

Use a TDEE calculator to give yourself a baseline calorie count and go from there, http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/ works well enough.

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post #5 of 21 Old 09-21-2015, 10:34 PM
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read up on complex carbs vs simple carbs. can you swim? check with either a sports medicine and/or physical therapist on what activities are appropriate.
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-04-2015, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Neo1130 View Post
Long story short, disabled vet here... Back, hip, knee, wrist and foot issues. Can't do most of the stuff I used to do in the military since my injuries and I am starting to gain a little more weight than I wanted. I've been 6 ft since I was 13 years old and about 195 through high school... Went in the military and lost 35 lbs in basic... Then I started working out more and made it to about 185 with mostly muscle. I have been out for about 6 years now and realize I am losing muscle and gaining a ton of fat and now to 215 lbs. I know chicks are digging the dad bod right now but I don't care about that.... What can a disabled person like myself do? Running and pushups are almost out of the question. Turning into a fatty... If I am on the route for much longer, I picture myself in Walmart, using an electric cart, breathing heavy with an oxygen tank keeping myself alive. I am 30 years old and should be healthy as heck but NO.... I don't want to let myself go....
As a 44 year old with a similar, but slightly different list of issues (substitute shoulder for hip and we're pretty much there) I strongly applaud you for trying to stay ahead of the game - I didn't, and it has been a struggle for me to get back to where I need to be (and I still have a ways to go). A couple of things that I would throw out there:

1. You probably already know this, but you really can't eat like you did in the military. Same thing can happen to long distance hikers (it did to me at least) - you get used to eating 6-10,000 calories a day to meet your caloric need. Once you stop the constant moving/exercise/activity, your body doesn't need that much any more, but you are still used to eating that much.

2. I am a firm believer that every person is different and you need to tailor your diet to your individual needs. I have found that for me, a diet of around 40% protein, 30% fat, and 30% carbs is the best for me to maintain my weight. It did take a good bit of trial and error to discover that, and it also took a great deal of recordkeeping. That said, with the fitness apps and calorie trackers out there, it is making it much easier.

3. As for exercise, I can't agree more with the suggestion to try swimming. No impact, helps range of motion in your joints, and you can get an incredible workout. As for muscle tone, I have had luck with fitness bands. I have been able to find exercises I can do that hit the major muscle groups but avoid the movements that cause me problems. One word of caution - take your time with any new activities and build into them slowly. I know I have a bad habit of jumping into new activities with a bit too much gusto and end up injuring myself more.

4. Take every opportunity you can that doesn't cause pain to move. With my knees/ankles, I can no longer run more than 100 yards and still be able to walk the next day, but walking isn't an issue for me (yet). So I consciously park in the farthest spot when I go out. Walking up stairs doesn't seem to hurt, but I can't walk down without pain, so whenever possible I will take the stairs up but ride the elevator down.

I know what you are going through - by the time I was 20 I had 3 knee operations, a torn muscle in my back that still plagues me, and a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder that has never healed properly. It does take a good bit more effort to stay healthy, but it is possible.

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post #7 of 21 Old 11-09-2015, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Well, slight update... I tried to do some sit ups the other day... I got to 10 and my back popped... I was out of commission from everything for about 3 weeks... So, I think light walking and cutting back on food will do for now and tailor to my needs as I go along...
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-10-2015, 06:37 AM
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neo, hate to repeat myself, but swimming, water walking and the like are easy on joints and spine, can be aerobic and will tone muscles.
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-10-2015, 06:43 AM
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Call a local yoga place and ask them about restorative yoga. If you get a good place, you will be shocked at just how much they can help you. They will tailor a program that takes your injuries into account. If you practice, you will improve, just how much you improve remains to be seen.

Lots of guys will scoff at the idea of yoga, don't do that. It is a well known fact that many, many world class athletes use yoga and meditation.

I personally know of a guy that was unable to walk from a skydiving accident. He now does yoga and other rehab, despite his injuries he has rehabbed to a point that doctors said he never would, and he does walk.
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-10-2015, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds good! Thanks a ton for the advice guys! I have a YMCA with pool down the road, I'll try them out.
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post #11 of 21 Old 11-19-2015, 01:16 PM
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keep us updated.
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post #12 of 21 Old 11-19-2015, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the support guys. I am really trying. Monday I am going to stop smoking and kick the 2 RockStars a day. We are slow enough at work that I don't need to come in early anymore so I'll be getting more sleep. However, the cold weather I literally even have a hard time standing because of the arthritis... SO, I will try to get to the YMCA this week... My 8 year old daughter wants to swim as well so I can take her and she can get lessons while I work out... My rheumatologist wants me to try Yoga and acupuncture pretty soon and the VA will pay for it/put on the classes... Thing is, that's 70 miles away.... I don't care about cost to get there, just the Seattle traffic....
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post #13 of 21 Old 12-16-2015, 05:57 AM
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Neo - I've taught and coached swimming for decades, if you do get into the pool, don't get frustrated if it doesn't go as well as you hope initially, it will get better. In swimming, tiny changes in stroke technique can net huge results, so stick with it and get some help if you need it. Check and see if they have a Masters Team as their coach may be able to help you some, or see if they have any onsite rehab programs, those PT's may be able to offer some insights.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-23-2016, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Neo1130 View Post
Thanks for the support guys. I am really trying. Monday I am going to stop smoking and kick the 2 RockStars a day. We are slow enough at work that I don't need to come in early anymore so I'll be getting more sleep. However, the cold weather I literally even have a hard time standing because of the arthritis... SO, I will try to get to the YMCA this week... My 8 year old daughter wants to swim as well so I can take her and she can get lessons while I work out... My rheumatologist wants me to try Yoga and acupuncture pretty soon and the VA will pay for it/put on the classes... Thing is, that's 70 miles away.... I don't care about cost to get there, just the Seattle traffic....
Sounds like you are moving forward. As a veteran there are a lot of programs you can use to help lose weight. One of them is the MOVE program. It is a lifestyle change that holds you accountable. They help with nutrition, provide a little thing that plugs into your phone line that you report your progress every day. I used it for a year and lost over 50lbs and have kept it off. One advantage is that it holds you accountable. When you have to input calories and weight each day you pay much more attention to what you are doing. Each decision will be put into play to determine if you need it or not. By doing that it helps break bad habits.

Another thing to look at with your travel back and forth to the VA is the travel allowance. The VA pays you to show up for appointments. They have an office in each VA that handles it. The VA here in TN has an automated system you punch in on a screen and they mail a check for travel. It may or may not pay if you go for Yoga or such but it is worth looking into.

As for Yoga, our VA has Yoga classes and they are provided for by the MOVE program. My wife recently started it and is happy with the results. She says if you start then keep doing it, you have to stick with it to get the improvements you are looking for. There are still some things she can't do well but is improving. She is happy with it.

She also uses the pool for exercise. It is a light weight resistance but it has helped her a lot. Very low impact and the pressure of the water not only provides resistance to movement but has provided help with her varicose vein issues. Not a huge thing but it is something she can feel for a while after getting out of the water. You don't have to swim laps, you can walk in chest deep water back and forth across the pool moving your arms under the water and will get a good workout that won't put much strain on your joints.

Best of luck with moving forward.

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post #15 of 21 Old 01-23-2016, 02:49 PM
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VA got me started with Aqua-Therapy here in CDA. I got out of the Army after a parachuting accident and was told I wasn't getting out of a chair. I got out of the chair and have been for 20 yrs. Just started the aqua therapy and it seams to help. They say I will lose weight and it is easy on the body. I deal with bad ankles, knees, one hip, as well as six disintegrating discs and TBI. So I literally know how you feel.
Good luck.

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