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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Exercise!


#1

Sometimes I wonder if exercise is so great--since after I go to the fitness center I feel like crud for the whole next day!!! But, anyway, I have a funny story...

The first time I went to Snap, the trainer showed me all the equipment. She had me go in the elliptical and I did 12 minutes of it with ease. The next time I went, I got on the so-called elliptical and after less then a minute I felt like I was gonna die! And I didn't even set it to a higher level. Since there were other people around me I thought I can't look like a weiner and get right off, so I stuck with it for 5 minutes--nearly passing out by the time I got off! So I skipped the "elliptical" the next time, but when I went Thursday evening I thought I'd give it a try again....same exact thing happened! Omg what's wrong with me? I'm so wimpy!!!! I got off at 5 minutes and told my husband wow, I really get a workout on that elliptical! It's almost impossible! I said I didn't understand why it was so easy when the trainer showed me how to use it. He said, you weren't on the eliptical--you were on the STAIR CLIMBER!!!!!!!! Omg, you gotta be kidding me! That makes so much sense! Now I can't wait to go back and use the ELIPTICAL! I'll feel like SuperWoman!

I think that's half the reason, too, I've felt so crappy since working out Thursday. Geez.


#2

Do you remember, ages ago, I tried to get to town for an emergency haircut when I didn't have the car? I'll never forget that day. I walked miles trying to catch the bus & failing, then finally got there but caught the wrong bus home & had to treck 2 miles home, uphill, in the dark during a storm. I think that was pretty much the equivalent of your stair climber. Except ..... although I wanted to curl up and die when it was happening, pretty soon afterwards I felt amazing, like I was tanked up on steroids. Good stuff, those endorphins.

Keep at it Grandma J. I mean, maybe you should take it just a little more gradually than you have done at the start, but as you get into it you'll reap the rewards and then some. Even with a bit of joint damage and wotnot, strengthening your body can provide the best boost ever, especially if you can take it forward to some form of aerobic exercise. At school I was the nerdy one they wouldn't let on the hockey pitch for health and safety reasons, now here I am, advocating fitness. Funny how things change.


#3

Haha Sybil, I do remember that story! I was in awe of you for your determination and bravery hiking home during that storm! I can't say my experience with a stair climber was brave--and 5 minutes of it?--nowhere near what you did.

Now, I have to come clean, because I found out what I was on really WAS an eliptical! Our son went to the gym with me yesterday evening. I showed him the thing I was on Dave called a stair climber. Joe told me it was an elliptical, and the two contraptions on the far end were stair climbers. so now I'm embarrassed my funny story isn't even true, AND that I have no stamina whatsoever not able to do more than 5 minutes on the elliptical with the easiest settings. Same thing happened again yesterday--so exhausted on that elliptical after 1 minute!!! As I watch the timer, every 15 seconds feels like 5 minutes.

Yep, exercise is very important, but it's sure hard to do it e/o day when you know there will be some pain on the off days!


#4

Yesterday my legs still felt weak and my neck and shoulders ached and had enough pain I took an ibuprofen. This is most likely from the "workout" (most people wouldn't call THAT a workout!) on Sunday. So, I didn't go to the gym yesterday. Is it just us--our PsA--the reason why practically everything we do outside of ordinary movement causes us pain? Or, is my body just getting used to these toning exercises?

Ugh, it's so difficult to think about going to the gym when I know I'll hurt for several days afterwards...maybe over time it'll not be so painful.

Does everybody else have this problem?


#5

I'd suggest just going a little easier. I really think gym equipment is hard-going and developing the correct technique for using some of the machines is probably important. Also, are you doing warming up and cooling down exercises? It's really easy to strain muscles at first. I think so, anyway! It's years since I've seen the inside of a gym.

Can you go walking or swimming? It'd be interesting to see whether walking half a mile or doing a few lengths of the pool would result in pain ... you could try it and compare how you feel afterwards.


Grandma J said:

Yesterday my legs still felt weak and my neck and shoulders ached and had enough pain I took an ibuprofen. This is most likely from the "workout" (most people wouldn't call THAT a workout!) on Sunday. So, I didn't go to the gym yesterday. Is it just us--our PsA--the reason why practically everything we do outside of ordinary movement causes us pain? Or, is my body just getting used to these toning exercises?

Ugh, it's so difficult to think about going to the gym when I know I'll hurt for several days afterwards...maybe over time it'll not be so painful.

Does everybody else have this problem?


#6

The gym kills me too Grandma J ... I was feeling your pain at the mere mention of the elliptical. I think whatever we choose as our method of exercise it's important to start gently and build up. I'm restarting my hydro this week after a six week break and I know I'm going to have to go slowly and gently for the first couple of weeks and I'm going to be doing a bit of walking on my treadmill as well. On the treadmill I find a speed of 2 - 2.5 mph is plenty fast enough and I just extend the time/distance gradually to avoid rebound pain.


#7

Hi Jules! Well, good luck--and yes, take it slow at first. I really am going slowly, but maybe I should do 2 minutes of the eliptical and work up my minutes gradually. I honestly don't know why 5 minutes at the lowest setting is so hard for me! I can't do the treadmill because my feet would hurt more. My DIL is going with me tonight and hopefully she can help me set up the eliptical so it works better for me.

Finally today my shoulders don't hurt anymore!!! I was beginning to feel like I had the flu!


#8

Oh, Grandma J exercise is great, but not if you overdo it. The best exercise decision I ever made was going to a physiotherapist who trained me to do exercises in the pool. She told me to start slow, and gradually increase repetitions. That I did, and my pool exercise is my best pain and stiffness killer ever. Some days I just feel like I HAVE to go to get the pain out. Like Sybil says, endorphins are great.

Another thing my physio told me was not to do the pool routine (the strenuous one) more than three times a week. If I go two days running, one of the days is a bob and float day, not an exercise day. Her explanation: I don't want you to work yourself into a flare. Michelle is wonderful.

Good to hear about your adventures on the stair climber! LOL


#9

Seenie, the pool sounds like a great idea. I've never felt comfortable in a bathing suit, though. I'll swim with my family and grandkids at the lake cabin because we're alone there. Or, once-in-awhile if I'm good and tan I'll go in a hotel pool. Not only being self-conscious about my psoriasis, but I think it also stems from being teased a lot when I was a teen and super skinny--anorexic-looking skinny!

I think the gym will work. I learned how to manually set the resistance on the elliptical to make it less strenuous and the 5 minutes was doable! :-)