This morning marks five days in a row that Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has made it to the gym. Wow – I can’t even remember when the last time I went to work out for an entire week…I think it was back around April.
And the funny part is that instead of feeling more tired each day, I am actually feeling a little bit stronger and a little bit more full of energy. My physical therapist is just as excited, and is hoping that my fully using my muscles will help us to pinpoint certain areas that need special treatment during my sessions. Today we worked on my thighs, which we had never done before. (She tried giving me an explanation of muscles shortening and kneecaps moving, but I only partly understood.)
What is the secret to my return? At the moment, I would say it has been incorporating lots and lots of modifications into my (alternating by day) yoga and pilates classes. If I can’t bend my knee, I don’t. If I can’t use my hands, I use my forearms. If I can’t do a certain series of postures, I replace them with a series that I can do.
And the most important part of my modifications has been to continually maintain my exertion level at right around 3/4 of where I think I should be. I’ve discovered that if I get too close to my max, I will quickly burnout and actually provoke more pain…thus sending myself back to the starting line.
A reader recently recommended these Gripitz Exercise Blocks. Theyseem to be just the right thing for increased wrist protection during yoga class. I haven’t given them a try yet, but I hope to do so soon!
Ergonomic exercise blocks that let you strengthen rather than strain.
Using Gripitz reduces stress on the wrists and elbows and allows people with repetitive stress injuries to exercise more comfortably for a longer, more productive workout.
Also helps to prevent future injuries by providing a more natural range of motion with certain exercises.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!