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How does everyone cope with the stress of exercising?

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  • betsycechbetsycech Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member
    Dogmom1978 wrote: »
    Have you thought about getting a stationary bike at home? Then you could read while riding. At least you could incorporate something you enjoy to take the focus off of what you hate. Or maybe find some other form of exercise that isn’t a chore and that would would actually enjoy.

    Virtually no one continues to stick with it if they hate it, so you need to come up with a way to stop hating it or find some form of exercise that you enjoy.

    I have a stationary bike as well and I spend every rainy/snowy day in the damn thing. It's a tedious few hours, but I do it. I don't enjoy music or podcasts and I cannot watch TV because of the vertigo. Seated cycling and seated strength training are about the only exercising I can do without the vertigo and motion sickness setting in
  • betsycechbetsycech Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member
    I thought about cycling on a stationary bike as well, you could safely listen to music or a podcast or meditation, watch TV - or you could read while you ride. It's much more comfortable.

    Do you have somewhere you can walk? Does your vertigo make regular walking difficult? My dad walks for exercise. He walks outside, but you could do it on a track or at a mall (if they are open, with a mask and social distancing of course).

    Do you have access to somewhere you can swim for exercise? Would that help?

    There are people on this site that lose and maintain weight with diet alone. You don't have to force yourself to exercise, but it definitely helps.


    I do have a stationary bike and I spend every rainy/snowy day on the thing. I don't enjoy music or podcasts and I cannot watch TV or read while pedaling because of the vertigo and motion sickness. That means when I am on the stationary bike, it's simply two hours of tedious pedaling.

    I cannot safely walk without falling and swimming sets of vertigo like there is no tomorrow.

    I work with my doctor, trainer, and dietician, and without any exercise, they cut my caloric intake down to a stupidly low amount to maintain my weight. Remember, I am only on 1300 calories a day and under 75 carbs WITH 25 miles of daily cycling as MAINTENANCE. Without the exercise, those calories and carbs get cut even more.
  • betsycechbetsycech Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    It is extremely likely that your apparent weight change when you stop exercising may have something to do with changes in carbohydrate intake that may take place at the same time.

    If you are a low carb eater there are extreme water weight changes associated with eating at a reduced carb level and eating at a more traditional level of carbs. This is NOT FAT WEIGHT. But it IS scale weight.

    ANY CHANGE IN WEIGHT you see at the LBS PER DAY LEVEL are WATER WEIGHT. Unless you managed to consume an extra 3500 Cal ABOVE MAINTENANCE per lb of weight change between your two scale measurements.

    PLEASE DISCUSS THIS with your advisors as it is a major stressor for people who eat low carb but occasionally "slip".

    Furthermore please consider that "exercise" doesn't have to be "exercise". I am more active and burn more calories when I am visiting my dad (because I am trying to sort out and clean out his place) than when I am at home where I regularly "exercise". Seriously. More calories burned there. Because at home I am at a computer for 14 hours and "exercising" for 2. But at his place I am up and about moving around for 14 hours. At the computer for two. And exercising for ZERO.

    And I am going to be a *kitten* disturber and even tell you that you don't even have to be out of breath for your moderate level activity (as defined by WHO / MET level criteria) to be a net contributor to your health and caloric burn.

    If you don't enjoy the activity, consider doing activities that you could combine with listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks, talking to people on the phone, or even watching tv/videos (though I feel that the last on often results in relatively more reduced performance levels as compared to the others)


    I have worked with my doctor, trainer, and dietician for years. I have been low carb for decades so I can avoid diabetes meds and do not "slip". It has been years since I have "slipped". Increasing carbs to try and "repair" my metabolism only resulted in huge increases in blood sugar levels. All I keep getting told is that it's not fair, but my genetic predisposition is to be obese and that I will have to work hard my entire life to stay at a healthy weight. The people in my extended family who eat and have an activity level that would be normal for most people, are instead three or four hundred pounds.

    I CANNOT do other types of exercise; because of severe vertigo and motion sickness, I am a fall risk. I can only do seated exercising. I don't enjoy music or podcasts and I cannot watch TV because of the vertigo and motion sickness.

    And years ago, we discovered that "moderate" exercise just doesn't accomplish anything for me. I stationary bike or recumbent trike hard for a minimum of two hours every day and more like four or five hours simply to maintain my weight.

    I've been back with the dietician these last few weeks. The discussion went to the inevitable I am getting older, my hormones are changing, and now it's probably going to mean eating even less and exercising even more to maintain rather than gain and to keep my glucose levels out of meds range.
  • AwesomeSquirrelAwesomeSquirrel Member Posts: 506 Member Member Posts: 506 Member
    You mention not enjoying music and podcasts but on the off chance that you hadn’t considered it, how about audio books? There are several subscription services (audible, nextory etc) and I believe some libraries also have a selection free of charge.

    I also have a habit of watching certain series in the background when I do chores (the Big Bang theory and the Good place to mention two) a the experience is basically audio only. Would you be able to listen to a TV series you are familiar with and get any benefit from that? I’ve never considered it for working out but don’t see why it couldn’t serve as a distraction.

    Apart from that, given the severe limitations you are experiencing, the only other advice I can offer is to see if there is any way to work on your headspace to decrease the negative feelings associated with these activities? Either way I wish you the best of luck, hang in there!
  • Machka9Machka9 Member Posts: 17,536 Member Member Posts: 17,536 Member
    betsycech wrote: »
    How does everyone cope with the stress of daily exercise? The time to think and the non-stop brain chatter during my workouts are driving my stress levels sky high. How does everyone calm their minds while working out? This added stress cannot be good for me.

    The time to think is precisely what I like about exercise. It gives me "quiet time" to sort things out.

    And then, it gives me time to focus on the exercise and my immediate surroundings. My favourite exercise is cycling outside. I enjoy the scenery. :)
  • VjmikesellVjmikesell Member Posts: 24 Member Member Posts: 24 Member
    Exercise, specifically cardio (cardio dance, kickboxing, step classes), is my Prozac.

    Find something you enjoy, and then do it at the same time that fits your schedule everyday. Be very consistent in the beginning with whatever you choose, meaning be sure to show up (at same time if possible) every day whether you feel like it or not.

    Within a few short weeks the exercise routine will become a habit and once the habit is established, you will become stressed/disappointed if you have to break your routine to miss an exercise.

    The key is to find what you enjoy. I could not stick with running, Pilates/yoga, or main gym, because it was boring to me. Everything changed when I found some awesome cardio dance, turbo kick, and step group fitness class before quarantine happened. Since the quarantine happened, I’ve been able to find new favorite gym classes online (free on YouTube) that have become my new favorite classes. I show up every morning for at home workout because I previously took the time establish good habits. These workouts are non-negotiatable and make me feel good the rest of the day.

    Once you find what you enjoy and able to stick with, exercise will become your stress relief.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 7,500 Member Member Posts: 7,500 Member
    A big hug from me for having to cope with all these challenges!
  • ALZ14ALZ14 Member Posts: 169 Member Member Posts: 169 Member
    Also, have you had a thyroid panel done recently? If not I would ask for one, plus a full blood work up. Thyroid issues can greatly affect your weight and metabolism and adding a medicine can help straighten things out fairly easily.
  • betsycechbetsycech Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member
    Vjmikesell wrote: »
    Exercise, specifically cardio (cardio dance, kickboxing, step classes), is my Prozac.

    Find something you enjoy, and then do it at the same time that fits your schedule everyday. Be very consistent in the beginning with whatever you choose, meaning be sure to show up (at same time if possible) every day whether you feel like it or not.

    Within a few short weeks the exercise routine will become a habit and once the habit is established, you will become stressed/disappointed if you have to break your routine to miss an exercise.

    The key is to find what you enjoy. I could not stick with running, Pilates/yoga, or main gym, because it was boring to me. Everything changed when I found some awesome cardio dance, turbo kick, and step group fitness class before quarantine happened. Since the quarantine happened, I’ve been able to find new favorite gym classes online (free on YouTube) that have become my new favorite classes. I show up every morning for at home workout because I previously took the time establish good habits. These workouts are non-negotiatable and make me feel good the rest of the day.

    Once you find what you enjoy and able to stick with, exercise will become your stress relief.

    Uh, no! I have been exercising religiously for DECADES because I must to maintain a healthy weight. At least five days a week for more than twenty years, I get my hour+ of exercise in. And I still despise it. And you know what else? I feel 200% better mentally on the days I DON'T exercise.
  • betsycechbetsycech Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member
    ALZ14 wrote: »
    Have you considered getting a second (or third or fourth) opinion from doctors? Because “having” to exercise for HOURS each day with 1300 calories just to maintain your current weight does not sound right. I’m not an expert but I would keep digging to see if you can find someone else who might be able to help you find a more healthy balance.

    I am in doctor #4 in eleven years for that exact reason. Unfortunately, I come from an extended family of VERY large people. One of two things happens, I am either repeatedly told by medical professionals that this is just the genetic hand I was dealt or, like the last, told I am outright lying about my diet and exercise.
  • betsycechbetsycech Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member
    ALZ14 wrote: »
    Also, have you had a thyroid panel done recently? If not I would ask for one, plus a full blood work up. Thyroid issues can greatly affect your weight and metabolism and adding a medicine can help straighten things out fairly easily.

    Yup. And hormones. Every doc does the whole shebang every time. Everything is good, except the cortisol is always high, high, high, and that is why I am told to knock down my stress levels. Of course, that's usually in the same breath as "exercise more", which is by far the biggest cause of stress in my life. 🙄
  • betsycechbetsycech Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member Member, Premium Posts: 12 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »
    betsycech wrote: »
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    It is extremely likely that your apparent weight change when you stop exercising may have something to do with changes in carbohydrate intake that may take place at the same time.

    If you are a low carb eater there are extreme water weight changes associated with eating at a reduced carb level and eating at a more traditional level of carbs. This is NOT FAT WEIGHT. But it IS scale weight.

    ANY CHANGE IN WEIGHT you see at the LBS PER DAY LEVEL are WATER WEIGHT. Unless you managed to consume an extra 3500 Cal ABOVE MAINTENANCE per lb of weight change between your two scale measurements.

    PLEASE DISCUSS THIS with your advisors as it is a major stressor for people who eat low carb but occasionally "slip".

    Furthermore please consider that "exercise" doesn't have to be "exercise". I am more active and burn more calories when I am visiting my dad (because I am trying to sort out and clean out his place) than when I am at home where I regularly "exercise". Seriously. More calories burned there. Because at home I am at a computer for 14 hours and "exercising" for 2. But at his place I am up and about moving around for 14 hours. At the computer for two. And exercising for ZERO.

    And I am going to be a *kitten* disturber and even tell you that you don't even have to be out of breath for your moderate level activity (as defined by WHO / MET level criteria) to be a net contributor to your health and caloric burn.

    If you don't enjoy the activity, consider doing activities that you could combine with listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks, talking to people on the phone, or even watching tv/videos (though I feel that the last on often results in relatively more reduced performance levels as compared to the others)


    I have worked with my doctor, trainer, and dietician for years. I have been low carb for decades so I can avoid diabetes meds and do not "slip". It has been years since I have "slipped". Increasing carbs to try and "repair" my metabolism only resulted in huge increases in blood sugar levels. All I keep getting told is that it's not fair, but my genetic predisposition is to be obese and that I will have to work hard my entire life to stay at a healthy weight. The people in my extended family who eat and have an activity level that would be normal for most people, are instead three or four hundred pounds.

    I CANNOT do other types of exercise; because of severe vertigo and motion sickness, I am a fall risk. I can only do seated exercising. I don't enjoy music or podcasts and I cannot watch TV because of the vertigo and motion sickness.

    And years ago, we discovered that "moderate" exercise just doesn't accomplish anything for me. I stationary bike or recumbent trike hard for a minimum of two hours every day and more like four or five hours simply to maintain my weight.

    I've been back with the dietician these last few weeks. The discussion went to the inevitable I am getting older, my hormones are changing, and now it's probably going to mean eating even less and exercising even more to maintain rather than gain and to keep my glucose levels out of meds range.

    How tall are you?

    When was the last time you've been for a complete physical?

    Do you weigh your food?


    It just doesn't add up that you would have to exercise 4-5 hours a day while eating 1300 calories to maintain your weight.

    I am 5'10" and because of hereditary weight issues, I get a full physical every six months, the last being July 2 when they cut my calories down again from 1400 a day to 1300 a day. And yes, I weigh and measure every f-ing thing that I eat. Any recipe I make, I personally add to my recipes in this app. If my husband wants something like spaghetti, I make that for him and I make my own healthy, low carb meal.
  • zebasschickzebasschick Member Posts: 364 Member Member Posts: 364 Member
    listening to audiobooks work best for me. i find using my exercise bike - also a recumbent - annoying, so listen to audiobooks that i like - that means good story, good narrator for my taste - and it goes by a lot more easily. i found that didn't work well when i disliked the narration, though. or you could pedal while watching your favorite shows, ones that really draw you in.

    also if you really don't care for the bike, could you use a treadmill with side rails like this one?
    https://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Health-Fitness-Treadmill-Multi-Grip/dp/B07K8HGCVB/
    i know there's a cheaper one, but i can't recall who makes it.
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