NRAS
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Exercise? Other tips?

Hi guys. Hope this is finding you all well and if not I'm sending hugs and warm wishes.

I've not been doing so great recently- tired and run down- but I'm muddling through and seem to be improving since I didn't need a nap today.

Anyway, to the subject at hand:

I've seen about exercise (of some level at least) being good for arthritis cos it kinda builds a bit of resilience and generally strengthens limbs. I was wondering how much people have found this helps and if you have any tips for how to exercise without actually exercising. Or if you have any other little tips for generally keeping going, motivation etc.

My pain levels generally aren't too bad (ignorable or short lived for the most part), but energy and general achy/ run down feeling is a pretty annoying constant and when I start doing things I find the otherwise not so bad pains sap my energy and strength.

Most of my days are spent at home sitting on the sofa or bed with the odd trip to the loo or kitchen. I get out for an average of once or twice a week for maybe a couple of hours. I feel like I should really be doing more, but I'm finding it difficult telling if I'm only feeling this good cos I'm taking it so easy.

So I'm thinking maybe some gentle exercise or other little things might help me with that. I was thinking of a regular swimming trip cos it's something my bf could do with me and it's gentle exercise, but my local pool is so cold and getting changed afterwards is such an ordeal cos I get so heavy and everything's so tight.

I'm trying to think of any other things I can do that could be a regular, but flexible thing and how I can motivate myself to do stuff.

I'm stuck in a bit of a boring area so it's difficult to find any reason to head out even if I'm feeling like I might be capable of it.

I don't know if this whole building your tolerance stuff has any baring on something like this, but I feel like maybe I should at least be trying. I'm feeling like such a lazy sod chilling out at home using the excuse of my condition when I'm not necessarily suffering. Sometimes I genuinely can't do stuff, but I feel like the rest of the time i should at least be making some effort.

Sorry if that's a total ramble. I kinda lost track there, but basically I guess I'm asking what keeps you guys going and if you have any tips for doing stuff when you're not so keen on doing anything.

You know what I'm actually pretty lost with all this. I kinda feel like therapy would be a good call to help me work some stuff out, but last I tried it they didn't really get the whole chronic illness thing and treated it like my mind was the only limit. There was no helping me work out myself, it was trying to get me to work towards normal when that isn't an option.

Rambling again. Sorry.

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Ask your rheumy nurse if there is a therapeutic heated pool near you. I don't know much about them as I didn't really listen when the subject was being discussed....I hate swimming in pools & like you just can't be faffed with the getting dried & dressed afterwards. But in a warm pool I would think they'd have heated dressing rooms...which as you like swimming might be an option.They do some sort of therapeutic Aqua Aerobics.

Also local council leisure centres have special rates for things like gentle Pilates if you get a letter from your doctor.

I have honestly found taking a walk for about 30 minutes each day beneficial.....I didn't think it was doing much good, but with such cold weather lately I have either stayed in or driven when I go out & I do feel as if I'm stiffening up....so I have been doing a few Pilates exercises from a video......from memory as no DVD player at the moment!!

I also find exercises to stretch achey back muscles given to me by a physio do help. At first you think Oh, I just can't ....but mostly you can & stronger muscles mean less pain & stiffness.

Hope that gives you some ideas,

.

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I do Pilates - was reccomended it by my physio - and it’s wonderful.

Not energetic or difficult, but boy do I feel good afterwards!

I used to swim at a spa place nearby which was pretty much always empty with lovely warm water, jacuzzi, steam room etc but they changed their policy on pay as you go. I couldn’t afford £70 a month ☹️

I don’t want to use the local public pool because of germs!

I’m saving up for a hot tub (an inflatable one - a couple of friends have them and they are very good), I’m sure that will be perfect!

Take it easy, don’t overdo it and most of all enjoy! x

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My kids got together and gave me an excercise bike for Christmas which I have found brilliant. The great thing is that you can start very gently and do a little and then increase it if you feel able to. It feels great to move knees,feet and hips without any strain or weight and you don't have to go anywhere. It's just there at home.

I felt the same as you, especially since this winter began but now even on the worst day of blizzards and pain I am doing at least 3K on the 3rd gear and it makes me feel a lot better about myself.

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Just a quick one, I'm off to work you see. Walk, walk, walk, it's simple, it's really effective at building stamina and it's something you can build on. I can't recommend getting a fitness tracker enough as well, you can pick them up at a reasonable price now and really keep you motivated and you can see how much better you are getting. Good luck with it, getting fitter is one of the best things you can do to improve some symptoms of RA and I feel so much worse the less I do.

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I found exercise is something you work up to....in the first stages of RA I found I had enough trouble getting out of bed & stumbling downstairs, & if anyone had suggested I exercise I would have hit them!

But all in good time it become possible & I do agree once you are able to do your chosen exercise it feels great,

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Hi BubbleMonkey. Exercise is what helped me to get control over RA as much as medication. It's now part of my life and keeps me going. Have a look at the NRAS website nras.org.uk and type Exercise in the search field. This will give you good sensible information. Just remember to start slowly and build up. Most important of all though: Reward yourself when you have achieved a goal, no matter how small it was. Be proud that you have achieved it. Give it a go and keep us up to date. All the best.

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Bubblemonkey.

I think the way forward is to set targets. This week you'll cycle to the shops twice or whatever, Next week cycle twice as far and so on. I'm a big fan of cycling so am biased in that direction. It is easy on the joints, useful, cheap and most importantly perhaps, I bet that you can find some others to cycle with, it is a social activity. That is a big encouragement. For any cyclists but particularly us with joint issue, make sure that your bike is set up properly: correct saddle height/ distance to the handlebars and so on. A trip to your local professional bike shop should help you sort this out. It will make the entire activity more pleasant and enjoyable. I see many people riding with saddle too low, tyres half inflated, and generally riding a bike set up poorly.I hope this helps?

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I'm a personal trainer (diagnosed with RA about 18 months ago) and I also work in a gym with GP referral clients. Both personally and professionally, I have found that exercise has been paramount to keeping me moving - and sane! You might find that a gym near you will accept a referral from your GP. In our gym, many of the local medical centres are on board and we provide 12 weeks of supervised group exercise for £25. I have clients of various ages and abilities, covering medical conditions such as RA, fibromyalgia, OA, strokes, weight and mental health issues, to name a few! Each exercise program is personally tailored to the individual and what they can and can't do, and we progress them as and when we can. It's a safe and cheap way to start, and also sociable. We also do a class that is entirely seated and focuses on mobility, flexibility and joint health. I sound like a sales person, (!) but my point is, your surgery may be able to point you in the direction of something similar in your area.

Best of luck, find something you enjoy, and do little and often, as and when you can. The thought of it is usually the biggest hurdle - once you get started, you'll be glad you did, and your body (and mind) will thank you for it.

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Thank you so much everybody for your replies. I think I will look into local gyms/ classes and a fitness tracker. I'll try to motivate myself to get out and about a little more too (might be easier as the weather improves a bit).

I'm starting to think I should get a dog eventually. Then I'll need to walk it and have company. Long term goals there. :P

Wishing you all the best :)

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You just cracked me up, BubbleMonkey (🔮 🐒)!

😂 🤣 🤪

Love ❤️ it !! " . . . if you have any tips for how to exercise without actually exercising."

[Is that like wanting to have a child 🤰without engaging in any of the required activities to produce such a result 👶 ?! 🤔 Merely, lovingly 💓, lightheartedly ☺️, pulling your leg (🍗), 🔮🐒. . . .😊]

If you’d like additional options to donning a 👙 for a heated pool 🏊‍♀️ , or peddling your 🚲 , or walking yourself (or a 🐕 ) , here are a few more ideas: healthunlocked.com/nras/pos...

(The ‘RA-Specific Exercise Videos from NRAS’ are a lovely, gentle way to ease back into motion if you’re ever painfully, severely limited: nras.org.uk/exercise-videos )

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Aside: If you’re interested in Chiropractic 🤲 , Massage 💆 , Physical Therapy 🙌 type of ‘movement/ manipulation’ ( healthunlocked.com/cure-art... ) maybe that’s considered a ‘sort of’ "exercise" without actually "exercising"?? 🤔 🤷‍♀️ 🤦‍♂️ It’s more of applied 💆‍♂️ ‘movement/ motion’ to realign 〰️ ↔️ the body & setting it back in ‘proper place’? 🤔 It can help us feel better 😌 & get the ‘ole bones’ ☠️ 🍖 lubed up & moving 💃🕺 again. 👍👍

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Wishing you the very best, 🔮 🐒 . . . 😌 🙏 🍀 🌺 🌞

.

(Oh, if you ever learn of the ". . .exercise without actually exercising" please 🙏 share/ post immediately‼️ Many of us’ll be ‘champing at the bit’ 🐴 to apply it. ☺️ 😄 😁 )

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Just had a thought..Google Nuffield Health ...therapeutic swimming pools...they have a few around the country....a friend went to one in Birmingham I think for rehab after a car accident,

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ooh I did actually do a free trial day at one and it was lovely. So expensive though!

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I think Nuffield have some sort of tie in with the NHS in some areas

it's worth a sneaky phone call to ask if they have anything like a day pass.

Being optimistic Spring is hopefully just around the corner so you can go for walks ....I drive to little villages......then explore the local area on foot.

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