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Good morning! I have an exercise question. I am 49 with diagnoses of fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, ADHD, IBS, high blood pressure, and some other issues. My first Whole30 almost two years ago now completely eliminated all symptoms, except for the high blood pressure which was diagnosed more recently. My doctors have done treadmill tests and have ruled out any problems with my heart at all- it's all lifestyle. I am about 30-40 pounds overweight at this time (have not been eating well recently and have a high stress load currently). I want to start exercise and have been cleared for exercise through my physicians.

Pain is my problem. When I went for my first treadmill stress test, it took me 15 minutes to get my heart to a stressed rate, which I think was at like 175. This surprised my doctor. He told me he thought it would take me maybe 4 or 5 minutes based on my lack of exercise. I think chasing after these little foster kiddos has me in better aerobic shape than he thought. Thing is, that really wreaked havoc on my out-of-shape muscles and joints. They push you hard and fast to get that heart rate up, and I've been sitting on my bum with fibro pain for the last several years!

About 3 weeks later, I had to have a nuclear stress test due to a false abnormal reading on the regular tread. This time they only had to get my heart rate to 149, but that was another 10 minutes of uphill fast walking/jogging that my body is just not used to.

My knees are killing me.

I bought a Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred dvd, which I hoped to use in tandem with my current Whole30. But one day of that--without the weights--and I have had a hard time just walking, let alone any further exercise. I can barely take care of my kiddos my knees hurt so much. I am also in the middle of a full-on fibro flare, so that is just complicating it all.

What do I need to do? Any suggestions?

Let me just say I am NOT asking for a pass. I WANT to start an exercise program. I have a Y membership that I can utilize. I have the Shred DVD. I have an ancient crappy treadmill in the basement. But will I further damage these connective tissues if I work out? Do I need recovery? PT? Or can I just fight through it all and just Make. It. Happen?

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I have no specific knowledge of fibromyalgia, but it is very important to ease into any form of exercise that you choose. And if you don't do a form of exercise for a few weeks, you need to come back to it slowly. I know that, but have had some forceful and painful reminders lately.

I abandoned kettlebell workouts for about 2 months when I began to do yoga every day. I practiced with kettlebells for 30 minutes on Friday and am sore all over. I used light weights, relatively low reps, and stopped after 30 minutes. Earlier this year I used much heavier weights and trained for as long as 90 minutes per session. I remain fit from all my yoga, but lost some of the specific developments that I had enjoyed with kettlebells. Obviously, I need to ease into my kettlebell work more gently.

Walking and running are actually different exercises. Experienced marathon runners are often surprised by how much pain they develop from walking a marathon, but the muscles used in walking and running are enough different that it matters. That said, you might want to work up to walking a few miles, then add run-walking where you run 15 seconds and walk for a minute, then repeat. The idea is to ease into it so that your body can adjust. Through it all, go easy. A little discomfort is normal, but you should not create lasting pain.

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Cycling is great also... Both my knees are arthritic from all the years of heavy lifting and working on my feet.... Eating paleo and specifically Whole30 has greatly reduced the inflammation in my whole body and I have been able to go off scrip NSAIDS and push a lot harder in all activities .... But you have to use your head... If it hurts, STOP.

May I suggest seeing a good Ortho for your knees... I've gotten Synvisc injections ( lube job) into both my knees over a year ago and it really helps ... Again that's a medical issue for you and your MD , just thought I'd put it out there for you to inquire about....

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