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Friday, July 8, 2011

No pain, no gain? NOT

       Being consistent with my exercising is becoming a real challenge lately with the shoulder, foot and hip pain that I am having with this current flare.  The whole notion of "no pain, no gain" if taken literally should mean that all of us with RA are totally fit since we have "pain" so often when we exercise!  I mean, come on, that seems only fair, right?  Unfortunately, this is not a piece of advice for RA folks or anyone else for that matter to follow.  Pain for us while exercising actually is a signal to stop or at least modify what we are doing or there will be hell to pay.
     If we continue to "play through the pain" as we so often see athletes do it can have very serious consequences for those of us with RA.  The reason is really quite simple.  If we don't alter our exercise in response to a pain signal than we can suffer joint, bone, muscle or tissue damage.  Doesn't get much clearer than that.  I have not always been good at heeding this advice as my family can attest to.  I have had two stress fractures in my feet because I could not and would not give up 1) tennis and 2) running until I paid the price.
    Now when I am getting to intense with my exercise one of my family members will not hesitate to remind me of the fractures....which works well in bringing me back down to earth.  
     It is the constant need to "switch it up" that really drives me over the edge.  It seems no sooner do I find an exercise I love, like the treadmill, and WHAM the feet are not doing well and so another form of exercise bites the dust.
     I know a lot of folks hate exercise equipment and think of it as medieval torture but I truly loved my treadmill and the convenience of using it when I wanted.  I actually used the first one we had so hard that I wore it out and we got a new one a couple of years ago.  Thankfully, my husband has adopted my love of it and he uses it faithfully.
     Truth be told I usually cannot wait for my days to swim and look forward to them as much for the mental "toning" as the physical.  
However, at the moment, my shoulders are not agreeing with me and so I am going to have to change how I swim for the near (fingers crossed that the new medication works later this month) future until I feel less pain.  I plan to "jog" in the water in the meantime which while not as satisfying will have to do....I say that a lot lately and if there is one thing RA has changed about me it is my ability to make adjustments on the fly....don't like it but I have learned to "make lemonade out of lemons" and thankfully I love lemons!
     Two years ago I fell in love with a dance exercise called Zumba and I really, really love it!  I have had to adjust how I do it though over and over but it can be done and I am determined to not give this up!  I currently have knee braces under my capri exercise pants (no one knows but me).
The other thing I am doing is not raising my arms as high or doing any of the pivots.  I really believe that in most cases where there's a will there's a way.  I adore moving to music and have since I was little girl watching American Bandstand in the 60's so even if I have to taper back that is fine as long as I can keep on dancing.
     So, in the end the key to managing exercise and RA is to avoid pain BUT keep moving those joints even if it is just to walk onto your porch to your rocking chair and enjoy the evening breeze, the lovely sunset and a glass of your favorite beverage!  AHHH....



deb aka murphthesurf said...

What a great post! Right on with the advice and loved the cartoons. Helped the medicine go down more easily..the laughter and all. I was thinking about Zumba also. Saw one of those infomercials but the price was kinda high. You do classes or do this at home with the CD's? And swimming was my fav until I no longer have a pool :-( That's what I get for buying a home instead of a condo (that's a long, long story). I like to keep moving and like to make mine like a tossed salad with lots of variety in there but am having a tough time of it lately because I have no car daily, no pool access and can't find a good DVD. You got any recommendations on a DVD? Would appreciate your two cents worth! Keep up the blogging...I am so enjoying your blog!!

RA Guy said...

I've recently taken a break from exercise due to the cold weather and my most recent flares, but I'm seriously considering going back to the pool this coming week...even my physical therapist can see how much exercising (within my limits, of course) helps!

Wren said...

Terrific post, Nan--you're a talented writer! This one caught my attention particularly, though, because I've been pondering my own need to exercise. At 54, 30 pounds overweight, RA joints and a body that's totally un-fit, the very thought of exercising makes me sink deeper into my recliner. But, I must.

So, I've been looking into swim-aerobics and Zumba. The first I've done before (many years ago); the second is completely new to me, but it sounds fun. Reading that you do both, modifying as necessary to accomodate your RA, gives me that little bit of courage I need. I'm signing up to start in August.

Film streaming gratuit said...

merci pour toutes les infos. très bon résumé en tout cas ca va bien m’aider…