Moving toward health

As you know if you’ve read my last couple of posts, I’ve finally started resistance weight training. I say “finally” because it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long, long time.

I’m almost afraid to say it for fear of jinxing myself, but this daily hour of sustained exercise is having an effect on my RA and hip bursitis. I’ll whisper: my pain level for both has dropped way, way down there in the last couple of days. One or two on the scale of zero-to-10 down there. And not only that. The hip bursitis pain that has dogged me so furiously and continuously over the last year and a half only bothers me at that low level for a few minutes each day, usually in the evenings.

I realize that it’s long been known that appropriate exercise can help in the day-to-day management of rheumatoid arthritis pain. I just never had that result, until now. Perhaps I was doing the wrong sort of exercise. Perhaps I wasn’t doing enough. But here’s the surprise: The exercise I’m getting now is working for me–and I can’t describe to you how relieved and pleased it makes me.

Because using a gym and the resistance machines costs money, and my finances are stretched nearly to their limits, I’ve been looking for good ways to exercise at home should I be unable to afford the gym in the days ahead. Today I ran across the Rheumatoid Arthritis link on WebMD. While I was perusing it, I clicked the link to RA exercise–and found this excellent slideshow.

Isometric wrist stretch

All the exercises shown in the slideshow are gentle and can contribute greatly to muscle strength and flexibility. I don’t know about you, but even before I had RA my body was decidedly non-limber. Since I’ve had RA, it’s even more tight and un-flexible. One of the benefits I’ve already noticed from my gym workouts is a less stiffness upon moving after sitting down for a while. And this morning, after a good seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, I got out of bed and walked–not stumped, gimped or shuffled–out of my bedroom and down the stairs for that first, lovely cup of coffee.


I know from experience that no-one can make us exercise. It’s something we have to decide for ourselves to do. Nevertheless, I encourage you to give it a try. If going to a gym is out of the question, perhaps the exercises shown in the WebMD RA link can work for you.

I’m adding them to my daily routine, starting tonight. My willpower is strongest in the morning, so that’s when I go to the gym. But I’ve found myself wanting to do something in the evening, too. Something that I can do at home that doesn’t require special equipment and that won’t necessarily wear me out, just increases my overall strength and flexibility. These exercises are perfect for that.

Here’s wishing you all a restful and happy weekend.


4 thoughts on “Moving toward health

  1. Wren, I’m happy you have found something that works for you and that you enjoy. Well, maybe not while you are doing it but oh that feeling of accomplishment that comes from working hard is wonderful isn’t it! I have always been an active person. Over the years I have had to give up a lot because of RA but I still try to work out 5-6 days a week. Sometimes it’s a sad little work out but hey, it’s something. After I was diagnosed, many years ago I started lifting weights. I felt that lifting weights would strengthen the muscles around the joints and that that would take some of the load off of the joint itself. I also find that I don’t sleep as well if I don’t do something active each day. All of this being said it is important to pace yourself and rest your muscles on off days. So many people injure themselves early on and then never get back to a routine.
    Keep up the good work. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished already.


  2. We all have a problem admitting when our pain levels are down. I have a hard time saying it aloud because of the same fears. I am glad that bursitis has calmed down. Thanks for sharing those links with us. I am trying to focus on getting started with a exercise routine especially because (whisper) my pain is tolerable again. Whoa! I can’t believe I wrote that down – I will knock on wood to be on the safe side. Your last few posts have been very encouraging to me. Keep up the great work! 🙂


  3. Awesome! I’ll just call you the Rheuminator now. lol I will look into the links. Thanks for all of your encouraging words and being an inspiration to the rest of us.


  4. If you need something cheap you can do on your own, I very highly recommend getting a good yoga video. For strength and flexibility, I don’t know that there’s much that will beat yoga or pilates. Right now, I just started on a new one, which is pretty gentle because right now I’m badly out of shape and weak. . If you have Netflix streaming, it’s on there in the sports and fitness section. ‘Healing Yoga for Aches and Pains’. This is it on Amazon – The same couple have one ‘for common conditions’ that I mean to try; it’s described as being suited to ‘chronic conditions and illnesses’.

    I also do some cardio on my Gazelle exercise machine. I’m trying to slim down a little and get into better shape. The Lyme disease has had me not moving around much for a long time, and I know I’m paying for it now. Hopefully, I can regain the lost strength quickly.


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