I have not been blogging lately because things seem so to be fairly steady for me so I feel like I’m writing the same thing each time now. However, I received a question from a reader that I thought would be good to throw out to see what others think and possibly might have suggestions for this person.
“I find with my MCTD weight training makes me flare, but with cardio, I feel better unless I overdo it. All weight training is maddening with the flares because it tends to go on 4+ days. I stop weight training to heal, so I never really get anywhere. I can’t push through the weight training and just do it either because the flare makes me so weak and shaky. I’ve tried very slow increases but the flare is the same. MCTD is affecting my hands and feet a lot along with muscle tone so I know I need the weight training. Any suggestions?”
Thank you for taking the time to reach out with your question. I too have struggled with weight training off and on for the last 15 years and even though I feel like I’m managing things fairly well in my day to day life there are times when I know that I will not be able to weight train. I have 3 days a week planned out on my calendar for weight training. I treat it like an appointment and so I see it as I am figuring out my next day or next week. Life and reality kick in and maybe I only actually get 1 weight training session in a week because my hands hurt or I just don’t feel well enough for weight training.
I have moved my weight training sessions from morning to afternoon which seems to help. When I wake up my body can still feel fatigue and my hands are stiffer in the mornings but loosen up as the day goes on. I have also had a couple of meals by the time I’m ready to weight lift so I feel stronger. I also pick a time frame for my weight training appointment. Maybe it is 15 minutes or if my week is going well maybe 30 minutes, but I don’t go over 30 minutes because my body will absolutely flare during the healing process.
I should mention that I’m at 141 days without a flare and feeling very good about that. I know that a flare can come at any time and maybe I’ll know why and maybe I won’t but I keep moving forward and jotting down my triggers in my journal. I have kept a journal every day since 2008 and in my journal I can find triggers to help me pinpoint possible flare situations. Weight training can be one of them, but limiting how long I do it and making sure I don’t over-work my muscles help keep me out of flare.
Healing from flares is different for everyone and even 5 minutes of lifting weights can cause a flare for some people so trial and error is key and knowing that just lifting is helping with your overall health so compassion and patients is so important. Using bands or machines vs dumbells or barbells can also help with joint issues and soreness, or using just your body weight for a session here or there might also help limited the number of the flares or days you are in flare.
Keep trying, lift only what you comfortably can and rest for a couple days after. Good luck with your training and your journey with MCTD.