Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Living Well and Exercise with Arthritis

As I am about to cook today (another crock pot recipe) and clean the kitchen among about 15 other things I have to do, I start thinking about switching up my exercise routine for more energy.  But I have to be careful because I have arthritis in quite a few of my joints and one knee is particularly bad.  So what can a person do when you need to workout, but it hurts to do so?

WATER AEROBICS!!  No, it's NOT just for old ladies!  In fact there are two regular guys in my classes.  And let me tell you, on Monday I quit doing hard housework at home because when I'm finished at water aerobics that day I feel like I've run a marathon!  BUT my knee isn't killing me!  Every gym that has a pool will probably have a water aerobics class.  The YMCA has more than anyone else and their water is just a little warmer than most other pools if you need that for your joints or if you have Fibromyalgia.  In most classes you can burn anywhere from 200-600 calories depending on how much you put into it.  That's the other great thing, if I'm having a bad day, I can still go and just not work quite as hard.  I'm not burning as many calories, but at least I'm keeping up my mobility.

If you need less activity, but just need to work on mobility, the YMCA has a program called SilverSplash that is technically geared towards older people, but it's for the more severe arthritis cases.  One summer that I had a really bad flare up, I took this class for a few weeks just for the movement to break up the stiffness and I ended up losing 3 pounds.

My favorite part of the classes are when we put on a weightless belt and go to the deep end (I can't swim, but it doesn't matter with the belt) to do part of the workout.  You are completely weightless yet still working out with no impact on your joints.  Love it!  Some days I'm actually sad when the class is over.

The other thing is, when you have a chronic pain syndrome all you want to do is sit still, but that will only make things worse.  You need some kind of activity, but one without great impact on your joints or whatever parts are hurting you.  Some mornings I fight with myself to get up and go to the pool, but I am ALWAYS glad I did when it is over.  I come out of the pool actually having more energy, and I can conquer my chores and errands for the day without pain and fatigue.  OK, not so many on Monday, but I like the calorie burn!

What workout routines have you found that work for you?  I'm thinking of adding Yoga....we shall see!

Until Next Time..... I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

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