Exercise And Recovery

You’ve heard it a couple hundred times before. To heal from Lyme, you gotta get those limbs moving. Easy enough, right? Yeah, right…

The first year I was sick with Lyme, I needed to prove to myself that I wasn’t that bad off, and at least once or twice a month, I’d valiantly join friends on three-hour long hikes or partake of intense hour-long rollerblading sessions in the park. Such activities would leave me wasted for days afterward. It’s taken me awhile to wise up. In the meantime, following is what I’ve learned through my trials-and-errors of exercise.

Deciding upon a fitness program while you are ailing can be like fine-tuning a piano. A little too much of this, not enough of that, and the body’s movements feel off-key. Or should I say, off-kilter. First there’s knowing what types of exercise will make your cells sing with rejuvenation and not sputter with exhaustion. For some, it might mean a light yoga session; for others, a brisk walk out in the sun. And yet for others, it’s about a swim at the gym, or just a lap around the house in your Winnie-The-Pooh jammies.

Perhaps more daunting than deciding upon what type of work-out is most helpful, is deciding how much of anything to do and how often. Sure, maybe you can manage a day-long bike ride without collapsing on your face, but how much of a beating are your adrenals supposed to take in the meantime? With one arduous workout, have you pushed these little organs to the point of now needing a nap for a month?

Conversely, if the mere thought of a shiny forehead or moving those legs two feet out the front door leaves you scared that you’ll break apart at the seams, consider that by rationalizing your fragility you’ll keep your bugs happy by your anaerobic activity. Yes, borrelia adores that you aren’t feeding it oxygen! Even if you really, truly cannot make it to the mailbox, start by opening that front door and stepping outside. Make it your goal to get to the driveway within a week, and then to that letter box in another.

Finally, when it comes to exercise, every other day seems to be the consensus for optimal frequency. A day of rest in-between will enable you to shake the mild to moderate (but please, aim for the mild by not pushing it too much) post-exertional fatigue that inevitably follows many Lymies’ workouts.