The thing that get those of us with arthritis stuck is the fear of causing more pain than what's already there. That sucks. But the fear of what might happen keeps us from doing what we know is good for us.
It's a true thing that exercise helps decrease pain and inflammation when it comes to arthritis.
But you have to do it right.
For me, finding an awesome trainer to teach me how to exercise without straining my joints was the key.
If you have a good doc, ask him or her for a recommendation. Sometimes they'll only be able to recommend physical therapists, but if they know of a good trainer in town that can handle someone with arthritis, it's the best gift you can give yourself!
Anyway, once I started with Ginny Spooner at Fairhaven Fitness, I learned how important keeping active is. I always knew that it was something you should do to be healthy and fit, but I didn't really know how important it was to my life.
After moving away and not working out for a few months, it became clear - I feel 100% better when I work out a little bit throughout the week.
I'm not saying I worked out every day. I worked with Ginny twice a week for a while, and then did my own thing the rest of the week.
Pilates was a big one for me. She showed me moves that I could do to strengthen my body at home while I watched TV. Bonus. For me, building strength was my biggest goal, so I took this very seriously and did it every day. (I'm feeling guilty now because I haven't done it in a while. I blame my hard tile floors for not being so enticing to lay down on.)
Lyda, what are you doing?
Yoga is also a great way to get some movement and stretching that won't hurt your joints. Again, find yourself a good yoga instructor who has worked with people with joint issues and you'll be good to go.
And of course, I love me some TRX. Obviously from the pictures I've been making good use of my Christmas present from Mitch. I'm sure you've been laughing at the fact that I'm in my kitchen working out, but hey, it's the best place in my house for it!
Not only is the TRX great for strengthening my body, but it's also an amazing tool for stretching. I'm not saying you should go out and buy a setup right now, but if you can find a gym with a TRX class, you should try it out and see for yourself. It's not nearly as intimidating as it might seem.
My biggest motivation is my appreciation for what my body can do. I've been at those low points where you can't pull yourself off the couch and you cry over the pain. It's a terrible feeling. Sometimes I think back on those moments, the low points in my life, and am amazed that I'm now able to do squats and pushups, able to hike and paddleboard. I can run up and down the stairs with ease (most of the time).
If not being able to move is the worst feeling, then seeing how well your body can recover is the best.
Our bodies are meant to move. They are meant to be strong. You might not think it now, but you have the ability to do the things you want to do. It just might take a little more effort, that's all.
Now get moving! :-)
p.s. I have to give a shout out to my awesome husband, Mitch, on his totally awesome birthday! Happy birthday love!