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Ask an Exercise Physiologist: chronic fatigue, yoga and glutes

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Ask an EP is here to help with all your health and wellness questions and challenges: lifestyle, wellness, pain, health.

Do you have a burning health and wellness question? Now is your chance.

Every week we will pick a bunch of questions, and help you solve your burning query. If we share our problems, we are more likely to solve them.

Let’s get started:

What do you suggest for someone with chronic fatigue syndrome or adrenal fatigue where sometimes exercise makes things worse?

— Emma, 45

Hey Emma

What type of exercise is making you worse? Potentially, it’s the length of time, or too much repetitive load?

Do you know your tolerance levels? That should be your priority. Taking note of how you feel two hours and two days after.

Managing CFS is like building a fancy three-story house—start with the big flat strong slab and build on that strong foundation.

I’d recommend finding an enjoyable exercise regimen that allows you to adhere to the program week after week, month after month. Enjoyment: that is the key.

HOT TIP: Some days you’ll have a good day—don’t overdo it on those days! Keep with the plan, don’t get ahead of yourself, and consult an Allied Health Professional who can educate you on flare-ups, adherence, motivation, progressive overload and a flexible management plan. I’d recommend seeing a Dietician/Nutritionist to sort out your gut health too.

At Capital Hydrotherapy and Exercise Physiology, we have gentle chronic fatigue classes which focus on yin breath, balance of energy lines, Wall Hydrolates (Aquatic Pilates), and gentle muscle activation movements. It’s a good stepping stone for building a sturdy three-story house!

Dear Kirra, I’m interested in getting into yoga but am worried about my sore knees/shoulders. Do you have any suggestions for how I could manage those but still give it a go?

– Emily

Hey Emily,

I love being a regular Yogi, so I understand your desire to get on the mat! It’s all about Savasana right?!

Best advice I can give you is to chat to your yoga instructor before class—“make yourself known”! Yoga instructors do “adjusts” as part of their training and while (due to COVID) they are currently unable to do touch adjustments, verbal adjustments are great too.

I’d recommend investing in a foam block, bolster, knee cushion or favourite blanket to roll up and place under your knee.

If you haven’t been to a class for a while I’d suggest trying a yoga channel on YouTube (or even finding seated yoga online?). There are plenty of 10-30 minute classes available so you can work yourself up to doing a full hour class in person (that’s the hard part!). An hour is a long time if you have sore shoulders and knees!

There are always options for every movement/flow, so don’t give up.

Dear Kirra, YouTube is full of glute exercises. What are your top three home exercises to get these suckers firing?

– Susan, 59

Hi Susan,

You’re talking my language!

Here’s a glute firing program. Try these exercises 3-4 times and week, and you should feel some functional improvement with 2-3 weeks.

1) Sitting Hip abduction with resistance
2) Bridge with resisted hip abduction
3) Squat with resistance band
4) Pretzel stretch (bonus stretch!)
5) Seated Hip Abduction twist (bonus stretch!)

You can print the PDF here, and I’ve made a two-minute IGTV clip for you, which is dropping into the HerCanberra Instagram later today.

Great questions everyone. I’ll answer more next week!

Want to ask your own question?

We are all better together! Do you have a burning health and wellness question?

Fill out our Google Form, or email us your health and wellbeing questions, to either: editor@hercanberra.com.au or kirra@capitalhydrotherapy.com.au.

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