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Music, dance, exercise and HIIT: a Fibromyalgia anecdote

Yesterday I was much overcome my stiffness and fatigue. Had trouble walking at times. When I kickbiked to the shops I almost turned back after 200 metres (and gone back to bed) because I could not get any power into my kicks. It's as though your body had given up on me and gone on strike.

However, after returning and 'recovering' I thought I'd attempt a HIIT session: lifting kettlebells.

The full on High Intensity session worked. 

It was very hard to start -- I began with kettlebell one armed  bench presses and finished with squats. There was enough demand there such that I can still feel  it all over  my body today -- 18 hours later. That's the zone I aim for: one that lasts. It's like lightly bruising  the muscles ( you do in fact tear them) so that you know -- a day later -- that they are there and have been used (and abused).

It's interesting is it not that long slow weight bearing -- like the kickbiking -- was almost beyond me; but I could 'switch on'  my body for the intense resistance interval training and climb quickly to meet the exertion demanded.

Of course, as is the way with Fibromyalgia, I shifted back into stiff and tired mode and had to lay down again. It's all very mercurial, you see. Switch on/switch off. Ab lib stuff. 

But after being flat on my back for a while I thought, "stuff this! I'll attempt to line dance."

And I did.

I thought I'd do a few minutes and drag my feet across the floor. But after four bars on my first routine, with me rising to synchronicity and in step with the music, I was boppin big time and then proceeded to dance my rocks off for 40 minutes. At speed, in full dance flight, there was no stiffness at all. None. I was liquid motion.

This fact -- a novel fact -- is a discovery of immense significance to me. High Intensity Interval Training which requires a full on work load -- albeit for a short duration -- and using music is:
  • exercise I can do maybe regardless of my condition that day
  • exercise that  lowers my pain levels
  • exercise that enlivens my circulatory and muscular/skeletal systems and impacts at the cellular and hormonal level (eg: insulin levels).
  • exercise that contributes to weight loss ( my plateau period has been broken) 
  • exercise that is guaranteed to embolden and enrich my day regardless of my physical and mental condition
I can't do this stuff and presume I'll get into recovery-from-symptoms-mode. It ain't a magic bullet. But the cumulative effect is something I'm keen to monitor. I'm hoping that over time I can:
  • reduce my blood glucose levels more (measured in mmol)
  • start losing weight again
  • recover from relapses of FM symptoms quicker and suffer from less acute and debilitating symptoms
  • experience less pain ... and stiffness (if that's possible).
  • gain more control over my cognition so that I can anchor  and improve my ability to recall and learn.
  • have more control over my day to day
Now there should be a risk of over doing this -- of stressing the body too much such that I tip myself into a relapse. I think that's very real prospect.  

The complication is of course that it is all about promoting stress but stress that is interval measured and controlled such that the body can expect it. For instance every second day I go the max for 5 minutes. While I'll max out I won't be demanding that level of exertion for another 48 hours.

It's a bargain: I'm negotiating with my body so that I can move up a few physiological notches and down some pathological ones.
Research Report: "If you go for a jog or a run you oxidise glycogen but you are not depleting the glycogen in your muscles.
"The only way to get to this glycogen is through very intense contractions of the muscles.
"If we can get people in their 20s, 30s and 40s doing these exercises twice a week then it could have a very dramatic effect on the future prevalence of diabetes."
He said the effects were bigger than the traditional "one hour of running per day".
The exercise routine is known as "high-intensity interval training" or HIT for short.
Discussion:Intervals don't take long...and can prevent diabetes?

Afterward Note - 'Tabata': While I will continue with my 'Tabata Music' and exercise for short intervals I won't be referring to what I do as 'Tabata' because it isn't. I'm no where near that extreme level of exercise load. My quest now is to integrate what I'm doing (and loving) with the new science I am learning. So what I do and strive to do is HIIT -- High Intensity Interval Training. At stake is what form that will take and how frequently I do it. 


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