Repeat after me
Historically, I have always been a mover: swimming laps, walking a big dog, yoga classes, physically active job, cancer rehab, silver sneakers core, tai chi, gardening, etc. RA changed a lot of that.
I reached a point where I was so sick I could hardly move. I moved only because it hurt more when I didn’t move. I don’t think anyone understands how hard it can be just to get dressed. Running errands is exhausting. Going to the gym, just a dream for the moment.
I cannot walk far as I have bad ankle and foot damage. Going to the gym, for now, feels like planning a trip to the moon. However, I know that muscle strength, flexibility, aerobic conditioning are vital to RA stability.
And it needs to happen every day.
When I feel better, I swim laps. In June it was a quarter mile free style. Felt good. Presently, that seems overwhelming. Not the swimming but the dynamics around it.
I have devised a ten minute exercise set that I do every day! It is a combination of all I have learned. It is doable.
- Complete range of motion
- Stretching all that can stretch
- Using light weights
- Continually moving for the 10 minutes
May not seem like much but I can do this through my worst flares and I do it every day. When I feel better, I will swim. I will ride the stationary bike. Yoga will become a stronger part of my routine.
Right now I am doing something. I have my 10 minute routine. You, too, can do it.
Cooney JK, L. R. (2011). Benefits of Exercise in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Aging Research. (Excellent article)