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Arts and Crafts

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Make A Move

I decided to dive a little deeper into the exercise issue. There are many forms of "movement" we can do, that keep the strength in our muscles and the flexibility in our joints, without too much effort or strain. They might even prevent damage after/during another disease-attack, bless your heart:-). Well, everyone is different and each of us has their own likes, dislikes, preferences and abilities ( which is good, otherwise it would be boring huh?). So I did a little research on what we can do and the effects of it. And as always, consult your Rheumatologist. I am no doctor, just a patient sharing experiences:-)

There are several sports you can do ( and not just for RA!), like: Swimming (preferable in warm water), water-exercises, bicycling, stretching and walking.
You can do these anytime at your own leisure and pace as/when the situation of your condition allows. You don't even have to leave your house for it. Exercise equipment can be purchased at the stores. Even a swimming-pool... if you are swimming in money, haha.

Then we have the slow movement arts: Yoga and Tai Chi.
Anyone at any age can do it. " For people with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions because it improves flexibility and builds muscle strength gradually. And done properly, can be a beneficial exercise for people with arthritis." ( How slow can you go? haha).

Another is Ergotherapy :"Treatment of disease by physical effort." This may help prevent and improve injury, or to give relief to people who already have symptoms.
Physical therapy: "Therapeutic exercise is the systematic implementation of planned physical movements, postures, or activities designed to: 1) remediate or prevent impairments; 2) enhance function; and 3) enhance fitness and well-being."
The therapist will develop a range of exercises solely for you and your condition. Now, if that doesn't make you feel special...:-)

After several years of RA, I had Mensendieck therapy. If I had to describe it, I would say it's a combination of all of the above. I was taught several exercises that I could do myself. I managed to do it for about half a year. Then my RA flared up and I could not do all of them. A good justification I figured for stopping all together. Yeah, yeah, laziness, headstrong, impatience...Take your pick, haha. So, I honestly can not tell you if it helped. Looking back, I think it prolly would have:-)

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