Looking for any small Movements (even if not "exercise") I could do every day?

I'm partially physically disabled. I'm on a 5 lb weight restriction. I have serious back problems that began when the doctor hit a nerve in my spine when trying to give me my epidural 13 years ago. I've had diagnosed fibromyalgia since I was 19.

I used to be reasonably functional. However my pain has gotten worse pretty constantly, and I am sure that my weight is also contributing to my inability to... well... do almost anything.

Currently I am ~270lbs at 5'1" (female, 42yo). My bmi is over 50.

I almost never move around.

Once every 2 weeks I go grocery shopping. It usually takes about 2 hours once inside to traverse the store. I am honestly incapable of standing/walking that long without a shopping cart to lean on, but so far I *do* manage to stay on my feet in the store.

After my shopping trips, I can barely move my legs to stand up at all. Making it to the bathroom (about 10ft from my bedroom) is nearly impossible, so I have to wait as long as possible.

After 3-4 days I recover enough to move a bit more. So...

Typical Day:

I get up, walk to the living room and sit on the sofa. I get up only when I need the restroom. My daughter is an aspiring chef and does all the cooking but I can't even get back and forth to the table anymore, so I even eat in the living room. At night I get up, walk to bed, lay down. Recently I have even had to ask my daughter to help me adjust the pillows so I can sleep.

I need to move more or I'm going to lose ALL mobility. I'm really scared that's going to be soon.

Someone yesterday suggested chair exercises or something and I tried to follow this workout video on youtube... it was only 15 minutes but I was in tears after 5. It was seated chair exercises for seniors! Very discouraged.

If anyone has any ideas how to implement some small movements throughout the day so I can build up to these videos? Or... anything really.

I'd appreciate *any* ideas.


  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 129 Member
    @AnnPT77 My "doctor" varies ... the clinic covered by my insurance sets your appointment with whichever doctor is available, and they've been singularly unhelpful with anything weight related. The basic answers I get are "eat less and exercise" lol. Been trying to get a referral for a dietician or something for a couple years. :/

    Thanks for the thread link! I will check it out for sure. I scrolled through a bunch of topics but must have missed that !!

    I hadn't thought about squeezing a ball or shoulder raises. I'll start both of those things today!! Thanks somuch for the reply, it's very sweet and super helpful and encouraging!
  • Hiawassee88
    Hiawassee88 Posts: 28,373 Member
    edited April 2022
    Swimming. Our rec center has a class for disabled veterans and others. You'd be amazed how healing the water can be for injuries. We have people paralyzed from the waist down who benefit greatly from movement in the water. Our rec center has 5 pools with graduating temps for therapy. Find a pool, our town is small.

    Check into advocates for disabilities and public transportation to help you get to the pool. Make some calls so you can get out of the house. You will feel so much better about everything. That weight will be literally lifted off your shoulders.
  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 129 Member
    @Washboard12 There's a pool not far from here! It's outdoor so it doesn't open till summer, though, but that could be a huge help! Thank you!! :)
  • Hiawassee88
    Hiawassee88 Posts: 28,373 Member
    @Cluelessmama1979 For me, support is the name of the game here. Stay accountable with transparency for the big WIN. 💖
  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 129 Member
    Lol yeah... I think the lack of accountability has contributed a lot to my past lack of success.

    Hopefully I will find some people who I can be transparent to lol!
  • LifeChangz
    LifeChangz Posts: 372 Member
    Sherry Zak on utube has some very gentle chair movement videos that help with flexibility and range of motion. If you watch one video, other suggestions pop up. Here is her Somewhere over the Rainbow one; just 3 minutes.


    It's ok to start small - pause as needed, small ranges of motion, small amounts of time, several times a day, increase as stable & able... even just doing movement while sitting - you can raise/curl up arms withouth anything - doing the motions. later, add a can of food or water bottle, for example - there are other little things like point toes, then raise to cieling and and ankle circles. make fists then straighten hands and spread fingers. repeat a few times. when seated, small knee/foot lifts from the floor, or small arm circles...

    I also used to like the tv chair exercise program on pbs (free tv public broadcast station) called Sit and Be fit... I could only do a few minutes, but gradually increased... the show had a good variety of ideas and used a variety of tools (which can be adapted from things at home)...

    for me, it is always hardest to get started... sometimes I start by promising myself I can quit after 1 minute ~ your fear of becoming bedridden recognizes how hard it is right now - when we start moving, it can seem like we will never feel better or make progress, but, we can and we will - we are worth doing it for ourselves ~ you have that urge bubbling up from deep down inside, grab it, hold on and go! onwards :)

  • DawnWyrick1
    DawnWyrick1 Posts: 1 Member
    I'm kind of in the same boat as you. For the last 3 years I have suffered with debilitating chronic fatigue and muscle weakness which has affected my mobility immensely and then leading to depression and stress eating. But I am here now and ready to retry. I didn't watch the chair exercises yet but I was going to offer simply stretching. I haven't done much of anything except garden when I can. I am afraid of hurting myself doing too much. I go to physical therapy which is very helpful. Simple movements make all the difference so why not just start with a good stretch for each area of your body. Tomorrow begins my restart. I wish you all the best. You can feel better. Just take baby steps and appreciate the small wins first.
  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 129 Member
    @DawnWyrick1 the exercise video @LifeChangz posted was amazing helpful for me... my back is a lil achy but not sore, if that helps. I'm starting my small movements plan tomorrow too (bedtime here!) so maybe we can work through it together!
  • emmamcgarity
    emmamcgarity Posts: 1,577 Member
    You’ve already receive great advice. I just wanted to post to say I’m cheering for you!
  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 129 Member
    @corinasue1143 I'm sorry your doctors didn't listen. I used to have a really good doctor, but since I moved here ( been a lil over 11 years now ).

    I'm glad you were able to work something out that helped!

    It's also good to hear from someone else who understands what the pain is actually like. Pretty much everyone thinks they get it, but, well, equates it with that one day their back ached or something lol. "Just work through it!" ... sure, will do.

    Anyway, I like the idea of starting with my steps baseline. Obvs on flare days I can't walk at all, but for the rest of the time I can just try doing a lil more each day!!
  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 129 Member
    So I added up what I do in a typical day and it looks like about 530ish steps per day IF I need to use the bathroom a lot. BUuut.. to do so, I basically just walked from like... bed to where I sit in the living room, or living room to bathroom or bathroom to my bed, etc.

    Just counting steps for each path since i don't have a tracker. Then tallied up how often i usually make each trip.

    But that means I just walked all those trips at one time and now my back and ankle are screaming.

    Which tells me 2 things. One, I am physically capable of taking those 88 steps all at once. And two, ...I probably shouldn't be doing 88 steps all at once.

    Trying to decide if I should try to build up more steps like... each time I get up, or more for the day overall, or if I should try to build up just once per day doing as many steps as I can *safely* all at once. Not sure yet lol.
  • avatiach
    avatiach Posts: 269 Member
    These are the ideas I really like: 1) swimming. Even if you just float a bit you use a lot of muscles; 2) asking to see a physical therapist (the pitch to your doctors is so that you can move more); 3) adding just a few steps a week; 4) the videos people have suggested. I'll also add that there are a number of youtube yoga videos, and some of them are very low key (others are really hard!). Look for chair ones, ones that say meditation or slow yoga. You also might try some breathing ones, breathing exercises could maybe help.
  • LifeChangz
    LifeChangz Posts: 372 Member
    waves hello ~ so glad the Sherry Zack video was doable.

    when I read the original information, I thought walking through the store, leaning on a cart is tough, no wonder it could take days to recover!

    for me, this year, I started doing 'intentional consecutive steps' one time in the morning, usually before lunch. I thought I would start with 75 steps but was able to do more. I add 5 or 10 or 25 steps when I feel I can and now I have been at 300 steps for the last several weeks...

    i often wonder where I will be by end of year, maybe 500 steps, maybe more. the hard part for me is doing it every day..
    . come heck or high water, I don't ea lunch until that walk is done... I use the walk to do things like carry folded laundry to the dressers or put away life clutter. when I am at the computer, I'll pop back in with a little tracker I am using. it is kinda fun to see it fill in...

    hang in and keep going... this is for you... you don't need to explain, defend or justify it to anyone... it is ok to carve out time for your own essential needs, and that is why we're all here... go you :))
  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 129 Member
    @avatiach thank you!

    I'm taking down all of these ideas in a notebook and going to implement as many lil things as possible!!

    @LifeChangz yeah, i definitely shouldn't be walking through the grocery store but like...

    As my disabilities and my weight have progressed there's all these little things...

    "If I ever get to that point I *have* to fix it"

    That sort of thing.

    And, well, the only two of those I have not hit are "needing to use the lil scooters in the grocery store" and "completely bedridden".

    My social worker (who takes me to the store) and the last doctor I saw have both told me that I physically cannot walk through the store and I need the scooter but like...

    I don't think it's a problem when other people use them... different things mean different things to different people... but for me, that would signal that I have entirely given up. Next step is total immobility.

    But I barely made it last week so ... here we are.

    I think I am going to borrow your 75 step initial idea, and the "before lunch" bit. 75 sounds reasonable for me for now, given I could do 88 yesterday but probably shouldn't have. (Ankle and back still hurt this morning).

    I'm also going to make sure to do that video exercises every other day, and incorporate as many of the small movements people have suggested here as I can while sitting and binging netflix or youtube, lol.

    Am already losing those first several lbs of water weight very rapidly, so it should be getting easier every day.

    I can't begin to express how helpful everything posted here has been. I think every comment has had at least one thing which either I can do, or can work up to within a reasonable amount of time!

    I think I will be posting my "workout schedule" here when I finish writing it up lol.

    Thank you everyone who already had suggestions. I'm still open to more suggestions too! But happy I have a lot of great ideas to choose from already too!
  • wakegrrl
    wakegrrl Posts: 215 Member
    I mentioned this on your other thread, but I like Justin Agustin on YouTube. Very gentle "absolute beginner" seated workouts. I hope you'll find that helpful.
  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 129 Member
    wakegrrl wrote: »
    I mentioned this on your other thread, but I like Justin Agustin on YouTube. Very gentle "absolute beginner" seated workouts. I hope you'll find that helpful.

    Thank you, I will check those out now!