Posts tagged ‘movement’

March 27, 2019

#566 – Live Better with RA – Tip #3

Sept2018 273

Tip #3 – Move/Exercise

The last thing you may feel like doing is moving, when even talking hurts. The adage “move it or lose it” applies, especially when you have RA. If you’re concerned that you are doing more damage, consult a physiotherapist for appropriate exercises for RA.

In addition to keeping you mobile, strong and flexible, the right amount of exercise can help kick inflammation to the curb. I always notice a huge improvement in mobility, particularly after my swim.

UC San Diego Health has this to say about exercise as an anti-inflammatory:

The brain and sympathetic nervous system — a pathway that serves to accelerate heart rate and raise blood pressure, among other things — are activated during exercise to enable the body to carry out work. Hormones, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, are released into the blood stream and trigger adrenergic receptors, which immune cells possess.

This activation process during exercise produces immunological responses, which include the production of many cytokines, or proteins, one of which is TNF — a key regulator of local and systemic inflammation that also helps boost immune responses.

Speaking of moving and exercising, I’d like to share what Rick, my online acquaintance, has accomplished. His go-to exercise is cycling, which combined with healthy eating (see Tip #2), has allowed him to become, in his own words “a big loser.” Way to go, Rick!

A big round of applause to all of us who are losers, and to some of us who have been on the weight-loss/weight-gain teeter-totter and have finally settled into a good place/weight.

In case you are in the midst of a major flare, I’m swimming two extra lengths just for you! (It’s my new thing. Consider it an energetic gift for someone who is unable to move/exercise. 🙂 Whether I’m stretching, lifting weights, swimming or dog walking, I’m finishing my “usual” routine by doing two more – be it lengths, blocks, lifts, reps, minutes or holds.)

Can you guess what Tip #4 will be?

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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.

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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February 27, 2013

#412 – Nia

Which exercise form begins the class with a focus, is done to really cool music, and incorporates movements from Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, jazz dance, modern dance, Duncan dance, yoga, Alexander Technique and the Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais?

Nia!

The first time I ever went to a class, Judy Cashmore, instructor extraordinaire, asked us to focus on the joints. “Imagine your joints opening up,” she said. Now, isn’t that a great thing for those of us with joint pain to do?

What struck me about this class besides the music, is that people of all ages and abilities were partaking. If need be, it can even be done while seated in a chair. The movements aren’t repetitive, nor do you feel like you have to have a body built for spandex.

Most of the participants do their routines in bare feet, but because of the nature of these feet of mine, I was able to wear clean running shoes and do what I could. It’s wonderful to be in a class that is so accepting of one’s abilities, and also one that is so inviting and encouraging.

Here’s what a class looks like:

Remember, you do what you can do.

If it’s something you’d like to try, please check with your healthcare practitioner. Click here to find a Nia class.

You still have time to enter my giveaway for a leather wristlet, courtesy of Danier. This one is open to people with a Canadian mailing address. If your name is drawn, will you choose one in this bright colour? 🙂

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