So, as you may or may not know, the best treatment for POTS is exercise. Exercise is just good for you anyway, but especially so for POTSies! It strengthens the muscles, allowing them to push blood out of the legs when it tries to pool down there. People with POTS cannot just do whatever exercises they want. This is because if we exercise standing, or even upright too long, our body will start the struggle to circulate blood through our bodies. So not only will the POTSie’s muscles be working hard to lift weights, their whole body is freaking out because all of the blood is pooling in the legs! It is very important to exercise supine as much as possible. Alternate between exercises that require sitting up and exercise where you can lay flat.
Starting out, I went to the gym for strength training, the reason being they had exercise machines. The machines allowed me to exercise without standing. I HATE the gym. I don’t know what it is, but for me it is, as Emma would say, yuck. I also hate exercise machines. They isolate the muscle in a way that is completely unnatural and doesn’t transfer to real world strength. There have been studies looking at people who use machines to lift weights and are lifting the same amount as their counterparts who do not use machines. The people who do not use machines have more real world strength! This is because training with dumbbells requires your muscle groups to work as they would in the real world. Machines isolate a single muscle. This will help with the ultimate goal of a POTSie to strengthen muscles to improve circulation. However, if I am putting in all of this work, I want real strength, not strength that only makes an appearance when I am sitting on a gym machine.
So, I set out trying to find as many exercises for all the muscle groups that could be done either sitting or lying. I think I did a pretty good job and will be able to avoid the gym. Out of all of the exercises I’ve listed, only one requires standing. So, if you are ill and need exercises you can do that do not require standing, check out the exercises tab at the top of the page! Go out an get yourself some fun stickers because I have included a sticker chart!