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Healthy exercising (ed tw)

Hey everyone Smiley Happy I wondered if anyone had suggestions for ways to exercise when you struggle with eating disorder issues and also feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing works (in terms of exercising, not ed). 


I recently found out that I have pretty high blood pressure for my age and since both sides of my family have a history of cardiac disease I feel like I need to be more active to try and improve my heart health. 


However I’m really struggling...for one thing I have no money to spare atm so classes/swimming pools/the gym are all out of the question. But I also have sensory issues that affect exercise (I can’t cope with the sensation of sweat, it makes me cry), social anxiety which makes it hard to move in front of people, plus exercising triggers my eating disorder thoughts. I do yoga which is good but it doesn’t raise my heart rate, which is really what I need. 


I feel stuck. I want to have a healthy relationship with my body and I don’t want to get heart disease but I just can’t seem to take the step of actually doing anything about it. I have such poor self discipline Smiley Sad 

Re: Healthy exercising (ed tw)

Hey @DruidChild 


Thanks for sharing! Unfortunately I can't relate to our situation exactly, but I thought I may be able to offer some suggestions that may be helpful.


You mentioned you don't like sweating? It might be a good idea to speed walk as you won't sweat as much as you would if sprinting or skipping, but it'll still raise your heart rate. I personally dislike sweating as well (and wearing sticky sunscreen since we're on topic of things we dislike) and so I always have a shower straight after I exercise. 

You mentioned you do Yoga but that it doesn't raise your heart rate. I personally love Pilates, which a lot of people confuse as similar to Yoga,  but it's fairly different. There's a lot of strength training involved. Although it won't raise your heart rate to the extent that sprinting etc. will, it still will raise a fair bit, especially if you are doing exercises that are challenging.  Pilates is really good at making you toned/strong in a healthy and safe fashion. It's great for building core strength which can help with your posture and decrease the likelihood of future injury. I still think it's great that you do Yoga though. I particularly love Yin Yoga because it's a great stretch! 

I've probably gone on a bit of a tangent here, but my point is to maybe to do exercise that will still raise your heart rate slightly (aka speed walking, Pilates) that will not make you sweat and feel too uncomfortable. Also potentially wear clothes that will "breathe" and therefore reduce your chance of sweating. 


It's okay that you can't afford classes/ gym - there are heaps of good classes on YouTube. I personally do Blogilates classes. Doing classes at home may also ease your anxiety because you won't be being watched.

Anyway, these are just my personal opinions. I hope some of them at least help! It may be good to book in to see your GP and find out some ways to lower blood pressure (via diet if possible?), or see a physio for any exercise tips, or speak to a counselor about how to manage triggering thoughts and be less self conscious when exercising. All in all, I think it's great that you want to have a healthy relationship with your body. Heart 



Re: Healthy exercising (ed tw)

Wow @TOM-RO Thank you for all those suggestions! They’re really helpful, I never really thought of walking, even speed walking, as ‘real’ exercise but I guess it can be! Thank you Smiley Happy I should see my gp soon anyway so I’m sure we can discuss the medical side of it then. 

Re: Healthy exercising (ed tw)

hey @DruidChild that sounds pretty tough for you.
a suggestion i have would be to speak to an exercise physiologist. I see one myself and they work with you and your worries, struggles etc inclduing EDs. It can be a little expensive to start off with but your gp can give you a refferral so you get the rebate. The exercise physiologist i have also works with nutrition as well as suitable exercises and because she is aware of my lack of energy, motivation, and injuries shes come up with exercises in a program and placed it into an app which i can mark as done once ive completed each exercise. - so she and I can keep track but its still private sort of thing with a access code. im not sure if i can meantion the app though as im not sure if thats just for that company but i thought id meantion it anyway.

all the exercises i have are free to do and i can do in the comfort of my own home (unless i decide to got for a walk or something else) its alsoa good chance to chat to someone about your eating as well and possibly come up with maybe a meal plan for something to help you with that too.

hope this helps abit...
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: Healthy exercising (ed tw)

Hi @DruidChild! Starting an exercise routine can be really hard. When I had to do physiotherapy, I also found it really embarrassing to do my exercises in front of other people, especially in the beginning. Once when I started a new exercise, I fell on my butt in front of people because I wasn't used to doing it and I have coordination issues Smiley Embarassed

What helped me was starting off with the less intense exercises such as stretching and walking and focusing on doing them really well before increasing the intensity of the exercises. I also found it useful to exercise in 'bursts' rather than doing too much at once. There are lots of online physiotherapy and exercise tutorials and videos which also helped me. I also used apps to time myself doing the exercises and remember which ones I had to do. I think it's useful to make or write down a plan saying 'I will do exercise X at time Y for Z minutes' to stay on track and not overexert yourself. Ticking off your exercises and goals can also give you a sense of accomplishment. Smiley Happy

Hope this helps!

Re: Healthy exercising (ed tw)

Hey @DruidChild I'm so proud of you for facing this, even though it's difficult.


I have weak legs and there are a fair few forms of exercise that I can't do as a result, so I'm not sure how helpful I might be in this regard... I saw that @TOM-RO suggested walking, and that's something I try to do as often as I can, even if it's just at a normal pace around the block.


Maybe you could try to start a habit, even if it's just a ten minute walk once or twice a week, something small like that? 

Looking forward to hearing from you! Smiley Happy

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: Healthy exercising (ed tw)

Thank you so much for everyone’s thoughtful responses!! Heart 


@scared01 That is a great suggestion and I will definitely look into an exercise physiologist (or even just YouTube videos could help) once I have the funds, I’m so glad that’s been helpful to you Smiley Happy I talk a bit about eating stuff with my psychologist, but I’m thinking about changing GP’s so the meal planning could be something to bring up with a new GP. 


@WheresMySquishy Wow good luck on sticking with your physio! Smiley Happy I really like the idea of making a bit of a timetable and also tracking what I do, that sounds like it could be really useful, I’m a bit of a list/routine person! 


Thanks @letitgo! Good on you for committing to walking btw! I do a fair bit of walking (I can’t drive, so I pretty much walk 15/20 minutes to a bus or train each time I have to go anywhere) but starting a habit of a mindful walk every week could be a great addition Smiley Happy 

I also really hope in the next year/18 months I can get a job so I can start swimming a couple times a week because as well as enjoying it I think it would be good with my weird mishmash of sensory issues and allergens...


Thanks again everyone, you’ve given me so many awesome ideas to jump off of Smiley Very Happy




Re: Healthy exercising (ed tw)

all of your post sounds pretty good @DruidChild or something to aim towards. each little step counts thats for sure!
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**