As you know, I have an autoimmune disease, adrenal fatigue, and am hypothyroid. Another special gift I have is Diastasis Recti. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an opening or gap in abdominal muscles, between the right and left side. It’s typically measured by finger width. Diastasis recti is pretty common, especially among women who have been pregnant, but it’s definitely not exclusive to women. Even holding in gas can cause diastasis recti. The issue with it is that many typical exercises (including pushups and most abdominal exercises) can make DR worse. If it’s something you’re dealing with, you’ll want to ensure that whatever types of exercises you’re doing are safe and promote healing.
I’ve mentioned that I took a several month hiatus from working out. First it was throwing my back out, then I came down with a virus that knocked me out, and then the incredible outside stress that I had no control over got really out of hand, and I knew that given my autoimmune disease and adrenal issues, I needed to let exercise go for a while. I have been doing gentle workouts for several years and have had great results. I have had bouts where I get upset because I’m not pushing my body to extremes, like I did with crossfit, but my body can’t handle extremes. I even did a 15 Day Mommy Fit Challenge workout, and LOVED it, but it was too much stress on my body. I wound up sick from it. Which is honestly incredibly frustrating. But I also know better. I was just hoping that because it wasn’t nearly as extreme as crossfit, and since I’d been doing gentler workouts every other day without any problem, I’d be okay. I was mistaken.
What I have found that works well for me are short workouts consisting of two round of several exercises. Since I can’t do traditional abdominal workouts, I’ve incorporated a move that I’ve found good results from that is diastasis recti safe. Since I can’t do pushups, I try to incorporate other arm exercises, and while I know that pushups are full body, not just arms, it’s a good alternative to pushups for me. I’ve done many workouts, including the Adrenal Reset Workout, Garage Warrior, Fit in 10, and several others. I also, as mentioned, did crossfit for years. What I have found that works well for me is just the basics. Basic exercises that can be done anywhere. I use 15 lb dumbbells because that’s what I like, but before my pregnancy, I used 30 lb dumbbells. I don’t know that I’ll ever get there again, but I’m really not that interested in adding weight at this point. More about getting the movements and exercise in, and ensuring that I don’t overdo it.
These are the exercises I do. I do 2 rounds of whichever 6 exercises I choose. I do them for 1 minute each, so not a set number of reps. I do squats every time, and I do the knee drop every time, as I really like them both, and I think they benefit every workout.
- Croc rows
- Step ups
- Dumbbell bench press
- Hip raise
- Knee drop
- Standing rear leg extension with a forward bend
- Knee drop
- Donkey kicks
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
When outside stressors happen, I have been taking time off of workouts, knowing that if I don’t it can be detrimental to my health. I have lost about 24 pounds since September and most of that, honestly, has been during times I haven’t worked out. My body appears to not be absorbing nutrients, and I have many deficiencies at this point. Because of this, I can easily do too much. When I’m feeling especially tired or worn out, I don’t workout, and I urge others to follow that rule of thumb, especially when dealing with autoimmune diseases, thyroid problems, adrenal issues, mineral/vitamin/nutrition deficiencies, and anyone in recovery.
Working out feels so, so good! And it’s such a reward to yourself, but it’s important to restrict it, no matter how much you’d like no to, when you’re dealing with health issues. I really hope that you enjoy these exercises and incorporate them into your life as you see fit and in a way that best benefits you. I enjoy them greatly. I do plan to post a demonstrational video in the near future, so there’s a little something to get excited about. Who doesn’t want to watch a woman in her mid 30’s who doesn’t workout for a living demonstrate exercises for all the world to see? I may even get my monkey girl to accompany me. Please note that I have no professional filming equipment and do not have a studio, so this will be my living room and my poor husband with my phone. I keep sweetening the pot…
***I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this blog is medical advice or to be used in lieu of medical treatment or advice from a doctor.