Archive for ‘Exercise’

August 17, 2017

#531 – What to Do at the Beach When You Have RA #3

laddergolf

I’d heard about it, but until this summer, never had the opportunity to play Ladder Golf. It’s an easy, fun way to build some movement in those lazy, hazy days of summer.

The game is simple and gentle enough that it can be played with arthritic joints. In the photo, you can see me toss the red bolas (2 golf balls attached to either end of a rope), towards the ladder at the other end of our playing area.

If you’re game to play, I’m ready.

For the rules, check out Ladder Golf.

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August 3, 2017

#530 – What to Do at the Beach When You Have RA #2

Maybe you don’t like to be in the water (gasp!), but you can be on the water. You may want to give kayaking a go. If the sit-in kayaks are too difficult for you, you may wish to try the sit-on type, like I recently did.

2kayaks

Ready for a paddle?

Initially, I had help lowering me down onto the kayak, then being pushed away from the shore. I discovered that I could do it myself by pushing the kayak into thigh-deep water. I then sat on the edge and reached for the far side with one hand, while pivoting onto the seat. Yes, I did get a wet bum, but then, that’s part of the fun.

I noticed a change with a few days of paddling. My shorts were looser in the waist and I felt stronger throughout my trunk. I wan’t doing hours of paddling either. I’d consider buying one if I didn’t have to put it on the rough in order to transport it. That’s beyond my capabilities. I need to win that lottery (I rarely buy tickets for), in order to have beach-front property! *Dreaming*

Which brings me to an important stress addressing tip. Recall the feelings you had while doing experiences you love (like kayaking on a beautiful lake), in order to bring about a change in your stress level. Notice what happens while you relive your joy/excitement/love. (I offer coaching to help you dive deeper into the techniques.)

kayaking1
Chico makes a fine mast-head, don’t you think?

 

Kayaking doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. My sister and I enjoyed a few “Race you!” times, as well, as just some float-and-chat times. A fine combination, indeed.

Barbieme

Sister-time!

As always, stay safe. Know your limits and capabilities. Watch the weather.

July 29, 2017

#529 – The Best Water Shoes

aquasocks.jpg

Velcro closure on my left water shoe vs. the “struggle-to-pull-on” right water shoe.

After my last post, I’ve convinced you to go swimming. But what if you are worried about your tender tootsies and rocky or shell-crushed bottoms in the body of water you’re entering? Water shoes, often referred to as aqua socks, come to the rescue. The best ones are those that allow you to put them on and take them off with a minimum of effort and without the help of someone else.

I’ve had various models over the years, but the ones I bought last year (my left foot :)) are by far, the best ones I’ve owned. The velcro closures make all the difference. You can easily put them on and tighten them as much as you need.

Make sure they’re a tight fit, otherwise you’ll lose them once you start swimming. (I usually buy a size smaller than what I wear in regular shoes.)

If you hurry, you might be able to get a pair during the end of summer sales.

 

 

July 24, 2017

#528 – What to Do at the Beach When You Have RA #1

LoonLake

You know I’m going to say it, don’t you? The most obvious thing, for me, and hopefully for you, too, is to swim.

If you haven’t started swimming, I enthusiastically encourage you to start. Swimming is an excellent, comprehensive form of exercise, regardless of whether you have RA or not!

When I first began swimming in earnest at the age of 14, by enrolling in a competitive swim club, little did I know that this would be the one exercise that has carried me through the decades of flares, surgeries and pain.

When you are so sore and stiff and feel less than fluid in your movements, the weightless you experience in the water gives you back that all-important sensation of mobility. If your reason for not going in the water is because you are cold, pick up the pace and focus on the exercises and movements, as opposed to how cold you feel. You’ll soon warm up. Dependent upon your degree of comfort and skills in the water, you can work on endurance, flexibility, mobility, range of motion and strength. Don’t forget to simply float at the end and rejoice in that feeling of letting-go.

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