Exercise: Hiya all. My Rheumy nurse recommended I do... - NRAS

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Hiya all. My Rheumy nurse recommended I do some exercise eg yoga, pilates, swimming. I ran 10k last July (despite the pain in ankle and knees) ,I was actually very fit and I do understand the importance of exercise on my mood and in developing and improving my core strength. So, my question is, what exercise do you do? I obviously take my 2.5 yr old twins out and about when I can and I am fully aware that if Im having a flare or too tired or in too much pain then exercise isnt the best option, but im curious to see what others do with RD/PsA/inflammatory arthritis do.

Thankyou and yes, it is 01:44am...fun times with shoulder pain, despite tramadol but I have my new 15wk of Australian Mist kitten Layla with me for company. I still miss my 20yr old girl Daisy, but Layla is turning into a good distraction and playmate for George and Sophie.

Gentle hugs

25 Replies

I swim and do aqua fit. I can't walk far or do other forms of exercise on dry land without a lot of pain; but my pain actually reduces in water, and I can swim 20-50 lengths (depending on how I am) or do an hour of constant movement, and can actually push myself physically in the pool. It is massively important for my mental health as well as my physical fitness! Then I go and sit in the jacuzzi and sauna, which is even better for my pain, and a lovely treat... :)

I recently had a fall and saw a physio she was very understanding of RA patients and recommended Tai Chi and I am currently looking for a class to try this so haven't tried yet but Just thought I old share

Hatha yoga and Pilates. Swear by it 😁

Pilates is brilliant. I'm sure it is what keeps me moving. I also do aqua aerobics.

I do range of movement exercises/stretches daily (well in theory....). Very simple, but help me get moving and keep flexible. As much as possible I've built them into what I do, rather than setting aside time - so I stand on one leg while I brush my teeth and so on. And daily walking, about 5 km, which is benefit of having a dog rather than adorably cute kitten. Plus Pilates once a week and some swimming or other exercise every now and then. And I'm active generally as sitting on a sofa is my least comfortable position. So nothing extreme but I find I really notice if I don't do it.

I find the worst thing is just standing. Preparing food or cooking can be really painful. I had a stool in the kitchen, but kept tripping over it. I also find art exhibitions a real challenge. I always manage to get there by tube or bus, but am then generally wheeled around the galleries. Road cycling and jogging are not more me. As well as RD, I have OA in both knees.

I have a floor based exerciser, a bit like a recumbent bike without the wheels! I manage about 200 revolutions in the morning and often about the same in the evening. Once a week, I go to a dance class for people with limited mobility, and a Pilates class for seniors. The last two are on holiday now, so I try to be a bit more active on my own. J

Hi, swimming, Aqua fit,stretching & walking. I used to be ultra fit until I had a nasty accident. Now with my injury & RD I have to listen to my body & do what I'm capable of on that day but I love all exercise & it helps me sleep. You'll find something that suits good luck.

If you see my other posts on this site, you can see tat I am a keen cyclist and continued racing despite diagnosis of RA in 2008/9. I managed to crash in 2012 sustaining maultiple and severe inuries but have returned to cycling again. It is what makes me who I am and cannot conceive of not-riding. The rheumatologists have always encouraged me to exerciseand swimming is boring to me,Pilates and Yoga not active enough. For the last 12weeks I have had 0ne-to-one coaching at a local gym courtesy of the NHS, thank you, and feel much better for it. My physiotherapist arranged this as unsupervised she thought I would probably be over-enthusiastic and injure myself! She knows me too well I think!

Best wishes to all.

helixhelix in reply to hawker955

You've not met my Pilates teacher then! There's a fit young man in our group who she gives a more advanced routine than I can do, and he's completely wrung out after an hour. What I like is that it helps keeps me supple, ano the muscle strength is great for protecting my joints.

I just love getting in the water to exercise. It is like having a new body that hardly hurts at all.

There are some good exercises on the NRAS site too, especially for people who have more difficulty exercising.

I walk almost everywhere and do laps round the inside of the large local indoor shopping centre when the weather is too bad for outside.

I do a daily set of physiotherapist prescribed exercises targeted at my hip joints.

I go to a weekly Pilates class where the teacher is very good about adapting exercises if something doesn't work for you. Unfortunately this is on holiday for the summer just now.

Swimming is a big no-no for me. The pool is far too cold. I find being in water that temperature does nothing other than increasing my joint pain and getting the Raynauds fired up. At one time I had a course of hydrotherapy in a lovely warm pool and that was great. Unfortunately nothing like that is available outside the hospital and courses are time limited.

Hi I too used to be fit and would love to run again one day. In the meantime pilates and swimming are good but for more activity spinning classes are brilliant. I'm easing back into them so only stay for part the class. Also I have the handlebars higher than is usual so I put less weight on my hands and use my core....what there is of it!

Also I have has handle bars on my mountain bike raised and the hand grips made larger.

most important thing is that you enjoy whatever you do. Have fun!

Maya Feinnes' CD's on Kundalini Yoga are very good. There are seven of them aimed at each of the Chakras (easily found on Amazon). Used them regularly before I was diagnosed with RD and now have started them again adapting according to changes in my body. Its good because it is just me and the TV with scented candles/joss sticks and an " I'm Doing Yoga"note on the study door. There is meditation included too which is a God send.

Also someone has given me a second hand static bike which is good for all over exercise and can listen to Eckhart Tolle TV - physical, mental and spiritual exercise all in one hike! Seriously I find if I lounge about too much depression and pessimism are not far behind so good to put exercise as a priority.

Best wishes

I use the gym 6 days a week for an hour and I half. I used to be a distance runner but my feet and ankles won't allow me to do this anymore. Swimming is also difficult for my shoulder and neck. However, I refuse to do less than I used to. Exercise has always been a big part of who I am and I am determined that the RA won't make me stop. I have had to adapt so I use the cross trainer mainly, also the rower and walking on the treadmill if I can, and some core work. It does make me very tired but then most days I wake up tired so what's the difference. I am convinced the RA would be even worse if I wasn't so fit and my state of mind would be really bad. The worst thing for me is standing still so I try not to do that 😀

If you've got a garden get yourself a tractor tyre and a sledgehammer and beat the tyre with it! it's one of the old fashioned exercises but keeps making a comeback in the gyms.

It's a fantastic cardiovascular exercise but also builds strength and surprisingly doesn't seem to cause any pain to joints etc. If you stick sledgehammer training into youtube you'll find lots of training schedules for all sorts of athletes and not so athletic athletes!!!

The important thing is to continue to exercise whatever your poison!

I swam too u till they closed the pool down so I got a rowing machine . Best thing ever for building back your strength and stretching those tight joints .

I swim, but not often enough. I also walk, though sometimes that can hurt my hips and feet - depending on how interesting the walk it can be worth it. The main exercise I do is riding my horse. It's quite stabilising for my hips, and builds strength in my core muscles (as does all the ancillary horse-activity), and is utterly fabulous.

Hi, i know this is a bit out there but i have found that doing more exercise than i think i can helps. It pushes my body and i get the feel good from it too.

I have suffered a couple times from it but nothing compared to when i do nothing

I used to run and even ran a 5K post RA (once it was under control). I stopped running after I hurt my ankle switching to Vibram Five Fingers (my own fault as I tried to run 6K the day after I bought them!), but am hoping to get back to running once the weather cools. I've actually gotten out of the habit of working out (much stress the past 6 months with selling our house, buying a new one, moving out, staying at my mum's for 3 weeks, and then this past week moving in!), but I really like yoga. Especially something gentle and with flow, like a "goodnight" yoga class. I have been doing Yoga with Adriene's goodnight and morning yoga, which are not too difficult, via Youtube. My kids have gotten me to do Cosmic Kids Yoga with them (also via Youtube) and it is quite fun - and not too challenging for my joints. We just moved to a house with an in-ground pool, so I am hoping to get in daily swims. I also have a stationary bike, which I find great, especially when I have sore feet from too much standing. Good luck! I think the "when it rests, it rusts" mantra works well for those of us with RA (though some rest is beneficial too!).

nomoreheels in reply to Karen77

Pleased to hear you've moved into your new house Karen. Hope it hasn't taken too much out of you. Wishing you many happy times in your new home. x

Karen77 in reply to nomoreheels

Thanks Heels! It was a long road, but we made it! House is a dream and so far all the work to move in has been a labour of love!

nomoreheels in reply to Karen77

I'm really pleased for you & sure it will be all worth it. We're still waiting to find our forever home, large gardens are thin on the ground in our area.... or rather the ones with large gardens are beyond our budget! The next town has quite a few with paddocks but loathe to move further inland. I can see we're going to have to lower our expectations.

Karen77 in reply to nomoreheels

That's the worst (feeling as though you have to lower expectations). We were so stressed looking for a house that we thought we'd have to do the same, but luckily this one came up at the 11th hour. We're further 20 km from my office, but thankfully they have been great about me teleworking 4 days of 5 per week, and are very understanding if I'm not punctual the day I do go in. This place gives us space and a great community feel, so I feel really great about raising my kids here.

nomoreheels in reply to Karen77

How lucky was that! Hope similar happens for us. It's great you can work from home & they're fine if you don't make it on the dot. Am right in thinking you work for the Canadian Government? If so that's doubly good, not sure the UK Gov would be so accommodating, lol. x

Karen77 in reply to nomoreheels

Yes, Canada's department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. They are more used to telework arrangements (to accommodate spouses posted to embassies and consulates abroad), but I still requested it as a disability-based accommodation.

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