Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Move! (Living with RA)

Get out there and walk!
First of all, I want to thank everyone who sent me messages after yesterday's post describing their situation and what has helped them. It has been very encouraging.

I want to reiterate that I have not been "officially" diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but based on my symptoms and the positive blood test result, I want to be pro-active. Nothing that I am currently doing can be anything but good for my body.

My sister-in-law, Nancy Goff, while suffering through joint pain in her knees, was often heard chanting the phrase, "motion is the potion." More recently, my son, Garrett, chanted to me, "rest is rust." Of course, it all falls within the category of "use it or lose it."

Our bodies need to be exercised and those joints stretched out. Walking has long been a favorite activity of mine, but I can also go through long periods of laziness of which I'm recently guilty. My current goal is 10,000 steps a day which my new Samsung S5 so unmercifully keeps track of. I also use the app, Map My Run to track my workouts. Currently I'm trying to take two walks a day, each of about 2.5 miles to meet this goal. It's not always possible and I try not to beat myself up over it, but it feels great when I can do it. It's also conditioning me for when my new puppy comes home. :D

While walking, I try to remember everything I've heard about the way to walk and good posture. I have long walked with rather stilted steps which put a lot of pressure on my knees and I tend to "lead with my head" by bending over at the waist. I keep reminding myself to walk with my whole leg; stretch out from the hips. When I do that I can feel the load lessen on my knees and can sense my thighs stretching. I also visualize that I'm pulling my belly button in and up; that makes me stand taller and opens up my chest and lungs. Walking with my hands no lower than my waist puts an extra oomph in my workout and helps keep my arms toned.

So see? So far so good, I'm not doing anything that I shouldn't be doing anyway; I'm just more motivated to do so now.

I will also be adding yoga classes to my exercise regimen. I have to do a little more research, first. Meanwhile, I spend time each morning doing routine stretches to work the kinks out of my body.

Next time I'll begin talking about foods.

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