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royhughes33

Return to Working Out or Training .

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Hi Roy here 55 year old male looking for your experiences on returning to running, weight training or other fitness regimes after a SAH. I had my SAH 8 weeks ago and getting no real research on how to return to a healthy fitness regime whilst recovering from a SAH .

I ran or worked out daily before my injury and would like to return to the same eventually ,i dont want the fear of what if to hold me back ,my specialist told me there is no reason this should not be possible ,my doctor was not so keen about about any resistance training.

 

Any information would be appreciated Yours Roy.

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Roy, welcome to BTG. I think there are some good threads on here about working out and fitness but my advice is just to take things slow and steady but my doc was very clear to me ; no heavy lifting but I had invasive surgery so may be different.

 

Not sure how much time you spent in hospital but You will need to go at a different pace than you used to for a while as fitness will have been affected and drink plenty if water and rest more and then just see how your body feels but I'm sure if it's important to you then it will work out. Others have posted about getting back to running, training so you'll find a new fitness rhythm in time.

 

I started off with tiny walks and increased the duration and added in swimming after my head scar healed but improving my fitness is still a goal this year and finding something less impact and jarring worked better for me but then to be honest I was never a runner!

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Hi Roy,

 

I wish I could do them,  but I cannot stand for very long.

 

I was told not to lift heavy things, good when the shopping needs unpacking.

 

Seriously as Daffs said after an SAH take it easy for a while. baby steps at first.

 

I was also told do not lift anything over 10lb,  so we can only advise you.

The heaviest I have lifted is a chocolate bar,  joke x

 

I wish you all the best on your recovery and fitness

 

WinB143

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Hi Roy,

Sorry I can't offer you any advice but just wanted to say that I'm in a similar situation, so I'll be interested to hear other people's response to your post. I had my SAH 6 weeks ago and, like you, was a keen runner and have wondered whether I'll be able to run again - certainly the thought of blood pounding in my head doesn't appeal to me at the moment!

 

My leg muscles had pretty much wasted away after all the time spent in hospital so I've been doing little walks every day, gradually increasing the distance and it has really helped build up my strength. I've also found that doing a few gentle yoga exercises really helps with flexibility.

 

Good luck with your recovery

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Hi Roy,

 

I'm 59.  This has always been a problem for me.  I was fit and indeed was playing football the night before my SAH 4.5years ago.

 

Never been the same since.  I have been told no sports that may involve head contact.  Swimming, running, cycling is ok, the doctor says, if I am up to it.  I am not.  As soon as I start to exert myself, I become disorientated, my head feels as though there is a rush of bubbles going through it, my balance goes and I feel generally terrible.  A brisk walk is about my level now and I do loads of that on holiday!

 

So I have an exercise bike which I use sparingly, and a Wii.  I can then sit down when I need to without having to phone someone to come and get me.  I was fit all my life and I miss it dreadfully, but as long as I do things in moderation, I get by ok.  

 

Always take the advice of your doctor and whatever you do, stay hydrated and never over exert yourself.

 

I think the experience is different for everyone depending on how badly you were affected by the SAH.  Some run marathons, others are not able to do anything.  I wish you well.

 

Macca

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Thanks for the reply's ,I spent 2 weeks in hospital and have not been very active since, i have brought my treadmill into the house and have done a bit of walking but between the tiredness and the headaches i found this manageable. I didn't need any surgical treatment after my SAH but find the fatigue very frustrating ,although the headaches are pretty constant they are far better than they were.

 

I intend to try some slow jogging next and will keep hydrated and will also listen to my body, I'm trying to leave out the pain killers as much as possible so i can tell if all is not going well whilst training. I have no intention of doing any resistance training at the moment but want to push on sensibly with my cardio training ,so we will see how it goes . 

 

Thanks again for your advice much appreciated,  Yours Roy.

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Hi Roy,

 

I had my SAH 2 years ago now and had coils fitted, luckily I was not badly affected. Before my SAH I kept myself pretty fit ( although no running due to back problems) at the gym, walking briskly on the treadmill etc...and also weight training, after my SAH I did nothing apart from strolling outside for many months, due mainly to constant headaches and fatigue ( also the fear of doing more).

 

2 years on and I am now back at the gym doing my 'normal' workout on the treadmill but as yet have kept away from the weights, I am beginning to gain back my confidence and fitness with no ill effects, my GP says that as long as I do not intend to skydive or bungee jump!! I will be fine working out.

 

Hope this helps

 

Margaret

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Well done so far Margaret-

 

Slow and steady progress is the order of the day-

 

Never lose sight of the bigger picture-  no short term risks for long term gain!!!

 

Roy-  pace yourself well-   you`ll appreciate it in the long run  (pardon the pun !)

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I was advised to stay away from the heavy weights but that may be because I have unruptured aneurysms ,make sure you check as everyone's situation may be different x

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I'd just start with some walking adding a bit more on each time see how that goes - slow and steady don't over do it take it easy..

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I found walking helped with my strength , balence ,confidence and co ordination. After a year I added pilates and yoga for the same reasons . I recently started jogging again at year three and was getting on fine but made the mistake of doing a spin class . This seemed to trigger compartment syndrome which made me loose the feeling in my lower legs.

 

I had to stop everything and am only starting again after two months , the feeling came back thank goodness. I have found exercise very helpful but have just had a reminder as others have said slowly and gently :-) and plenty of water.

 

Brain Injury Matters here run a 6 week " Let's Move" programme. This takes us through a potential routine with Trx and mats that we can use in a gym. I am at week three so fingers crossed , they are doing us a downloadable version so we can take it with us as I can never remember . It will be the first time I have been in the gym since my SAH

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Well Done Jules,

 

Could you do some for me as my back hurts every time I walk.

 

One of the others on here said yoga helped her.

 

Come on now get back to pilates but no heavy lifting.

 

Good luck

WinB143

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About a year after my bleed, I stated to feel like I could cope with exercise again. I saw my GP and he agreed that I could go running on the condition that I start off like a complete novice with plenty of walk breaks. I started off with 30 seconds running and 90 seconds walking. I built this up very slowly because if I push too hard too soon, I become so fatigued that I cannot sleep and I can wipe out the next day and sometimes longer so it's just not worth it.

 

Pushing can bring on headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears and a nasty metallic taste in my mouth. I am now able to run for 1 km without stopping to walk so it's not exactly record-breaking but it helps me cope with the stress of work.

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I tried to exercise like normal after a few months only to find out that it made my legs feel like they were not a part of my body in the evenings.  I found yoga at this point and it made all the difference for me.  The thing about yoga is that as you progress in it, you can identify small muscles that need special attention or in my case some that still don't receive descending activation from the brain stem.  So much of our western concept of exercise is using the largest muscles and working them as hard as possible for as long as you can take it.  

 

This might not work after SAH.  My thinking of what exercise was really changed.  It is more about keeping my body healthy in a way that might be different from what others think rather than about the image or the burn anymore.

 

I do know there are avid runners on this site, so I hope you can hear from some of them too.

~Kris

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Kris,

 

I tried doing hula hoop, I was useless  as balance and backache so I thought what was I good at, (had to rack my brain) lol

Skipping yes I'll do skipping.  I was like a kid learning to skip again  but  my feet wouldn't go under the rope as right leg is a bit dead.

 

I'll keep trying but the only thing that scares me is my neck, straining it as shunt there and tubes

 

Good luck on hearing from runners xx

 

Win xxxx

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I too used to run every day, and worked out two times a day in fact. I'd swim or lift in the mornings, then run in the afternoon/evenings. I was told to go back to half my routine after 8 weeks out of the hospital (I was in 3). Well a few weeks previous I had run 2 marathons in 2 days, so I guess he meant I should do just ONE a day.

 

Anyhow, I'm three years post and I am back to running, lifting, swimming, biking. I can do all of what I used to do. Returning came in fits and starts. I do deal with chronic headaches all day, every day, wheeee! I did have to quit karate as no blows to the head, sadly. It was JUST getting fun with the sparring! (I was only an orange belt as it was a new sport for me, and was going to test for my purple belt a few days after my SAH.)

 

I can do all things, but I'll be honest I do about 1/3 the volume and I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me. It does, immensely at times. Other times I recognize I'm glad I can still run. I run marathons and have run a number of 50ks. I had to give up a 50 miler a few weeks back and was very angry with my head about that. (I did run the 50k, though.) I still have a great deal of fatigue (for me, although others think I had unbounded energy) and I can't do the intensity I used to do or the headache spikes.

 

But you never know, that might not be you at all! And hey, in a few years that might not be me either! I just know I'm happy to keep the intensity and even frequency down if it means I can keep running. I am certain my relatively good outcome was due to losing 100 pounds prior to my brain-splosion and having very low blood pressure because I didn't know "the worst headache of your life" was a bad bad sign and I didn't go to the hospital for over six hours, even though I was in excruciating pain, could hardly walk or talk, and had never had headaches before (outside of the random stress headache).

 

So don't give up hope! I celebrated 100 marathons last year and up to 110 end of this month, will run at least 3 more next month. I may not be fast but I am doing it!

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Hi Teechur,

 

Congratulations - you are both an inspiration and aspiration for many of us!  100 marathons is some going. I would have to catch the bus now to do just one!

 

Everyone has to find their own level and you are clearly at a high one!

 

All one can ask is that people do their best after SAH - assuming they are in a position to do exercise at all. On every curve there are two ends and all points in between.  Congratulations to all who can exercise but it isn't necessarily for everyone.  Exercise wise, I do very little now other than walk, not because I want to but because I can't do any more.

 

It is frustrating because I was once a professional athlete and was exercising the night before my SAH at the age of 54.

 

Good luck though, and I mean that!

 

Macca

 

Good luck to all who are fortunate to exercise at whatever level you are at.

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Hi Teechur-

 

You must put us out of suspense and give us that marathon time- 

 

My distance was three miles a night many years ago and only to relieve the pressures from the desk job-!

 

Now I enjoy watching the short and long distance running from the armchair-

 

You have been very fortunate to be able to return to running in the way you do- 

 

Best wishes-

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I ran one on Sunday and my time was over six hours, so trust me...nobody is breaking down doors to sponsor me! Actually I am a sponsored coach in the Brooks Inspire Daily program because of my brain explosion and getting back at it. My time was slow, however, because I took over 20 minutes to provide aid to a runner who collapsed due to cramps from under-fueling.

 

I gave him my water and Gu, massaged Biofreeze into his calf, talked him off the ledge (it was his first marathon) and told him that most certainly he could finish if we could get his electrolytes up. First aid found us and we got some salt into him, got him walking, I picked all the burs out of his back and gave him something to get the germs out of the holes in his hands and walked with him for awhile, then with a friend I found for awhile, then finished the second half of the marathon with a much better time than the first. 

 

One thing that does tend to hit me on the races is problems with low blood pressure due to some of the medication. I do intervals and my walk breaks, which I find more necessary since the SAH, can cause me to get very dizzy and close to blacking out. It's rare that it happens that bad, but it was on the first 5 or so miles on Sunday. It was also super humid, which I'm not used to, so that may have been a factor. 

 

I keep on keeping on, and I understand I'm very lucky. Today is National Running Day and I hope to get a run in. I have a class that goes until 8:30 tonight so we shall see! I also have a nasty headache, so hopefully that will let me run. Looking back, I had a bad one on this day last year and the year before as well.

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Hi,

Mine was two years ago and it has taken me two years to get back to walking longs distances and doing zumba again. I used to belly dance and I may do that again too. Its been a slow process for me. Fatigue is the worst. I make it through the day of work and then just give in to my bed in the evenings. I used to run/walk in the evenings but just so tired now. Still have headaches and dizziness.

 

I have tried just about everything from acupuncture, botox, shots in the back of my head, etc... Nothing really works 100%. Some days good and some days bad.

 

You will get your strength back to do what you want to do but it may be at a slower pace than before. Then, maybe not!

Iola

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Hi, well six months in now back at work 4 days a week using my Hols every Wednesday not ready for 5 days yet .finally got round to running again in the last 3 weeks ,started on week four of the NHS C to 5K on my treadmill doing three days a week this seemed about right for me ,it was hard but manageable .

 

Last week I returned to my Saturday morning 5k parkrun in Burnham on Sea I went round with my daughter and managed a respectable 38 minutes of walking and jogging . This week I must admit i definitely felt it and work was more of a struggle , but i still kept on with my C to 5k training which really helps focus me mentally which is the hardest part i think.  Today I ran another  5k parkrun and decided to push myself a little harder to run and not walk if i could ,I couldn't manage it and still had to stop 4 times for a quick breather ,but did finish in better time of 30:58 still a mile of my pre SAH pace but heading in the right direction

 

I am feeling a little run down now the b uzz has worn off , but I know with plenty of water and early nights i will get there so to anyone else finding it tough just listen to your body  plenty of water and try to be Mentally tough when training as training correctly is really the key. the NHS  C2 5K is a great help and keeps you focused .               I AM TAKING MY SECOND CHANCE THANK YOU .FOR IT

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Well another couple of weeks along and still trying to push a bit harder, doing  treadmill sessions and a 5K parkrun at the weekend .having some sleeping problems if i get too fatigued , not doing more just trying not to stop for a rest and increasing my pace for a bit longer every session , aiming to get back to work full time by the end of August not considered any gym work at moment,just not any spare energy,, still need the rest days to be able to keep going .

 

Seeing small improvements every week  headaches still around but not as bad ,unless I forget to keep hydrated, still get fuzzy if i get over tired , I find pushing through helps me cope and gives me more confidence for my future .The fear of what if, has declined and my kids seem to be finding comfort in my renewed confidence so getting there, its not for everyone but pushing myself works for me . I AM TAKING MY SECOND CHANCE THANK YOU .FOR IT

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Well done Roy, sounds like you are taking a sensible and steady approach. Keep listening to your body and head but you are right , regaining things helps a lot with confidence and that in turn reassures the people around you who worry.

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Just thought I’d add to this thread. I was running at least 90 kms a week prior to my pmsah. Absolutely loved it. It was nothing for me to run 20kms before work.

 

I was training for a 100 miler when my brain when bang. Needless to say, I’m a tad disappointed.

 

However, 4 weeks after my bleed I was able to trot a 5km out at my home parkrun. It was a great feeling. I think I’ll be able to get back to some semblance of training soon although I reckon I’ll struggle with fatigue like many others here.

 

I also think back to a few weeks ago lying in a hospital bed wondering if I’d ever run again. My doctor told me I was fine to run as long as I didn’t try to do what I had before. 

 

We’re all different and I think I got off pretty lightly (as long as the clot I’ve got does the right thing and disperses) and am recovering well. Exercise is a huge part of that for me. It’s important, like all of us, that I listen to my body. 

 

Good luck to everybody. 

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I remember when I was discharged from the hospital I asked the brain doctor when I could go for a run again. Her answer was "go live your life" I wasnt sure what that meant. It took me a couple of years before I was able to go back to the gym.

 

Even today 11 years later I still struggle to get into a routine because of QOL issue like lack of sleep and PTSD and mood problems.  I must say I feel a sense of accomplishment when I do get a good workout. But it does not help me sleep better

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