Lets get going? Who is sick and tired of being sick and tired. While there is no cure for Axial Spondyloarthritis, We do not have to be saddled with additional poor issues above and beyond AS due to inactivity.
Healthline article - https://www.healthline.com/health/beyond-back-pain-with-as/exercise-routine
Yoga for AS (YouTube) - https://www.youtube.com/user/jboder1
Beginning Meditation (YouTube) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inpok4MKVLM
Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of The Axial Spondyloarthritis Podcast. How's everybody doing today? It's been just a fantastic week going on here with all sorts of changes that have come along and some big announcements coming up for me on both a personal level, as well as some hopefully great things coming to do with this episode of the podcast. I really want to put a big challenge out to everybody. So this week, I want to jump right into the episode and I want to talk about setting up a weekly exercise routine. When you have Axial Spondyloarthritis, it can be really challenging, who wants to work out when you hurt? I know I don't, but I've paid the price, because now I'm way overweight, sluggish, my metabolism isn't worth a darn anymore. And it's made a lot of my conditions worse. We all have great intentions. Nobody wants to be in pain, overweight, not able to move very well. But it can affect those of us with Axial Spondyloarthritis, more so than the general population, which can lead to things like high blood pressure, cholesterol, being out of whack and just all sorts of different things. And those comorbidities really have come to the forefront of everybody's discussions as we look at this COVID and how it can affect people with comorbidities. So with that said, let's look again at setting up a weekly exercise routine. Now we know Axial Spondyloarthritis is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spine and the pelvic area. We all know that we all deal with it on any given day. So this inflammation can cause your spine to fuse together, which is called bamboo spine, your SI joints to fuse, all sorts of problems, which can result in limited or reduced mobility. So then exercise might be the first thing you know from your mind might be something that you say, I'm living with chronic pain, it's the best I can do to just survive, let alone incorporate any type of physical activity. But that physical activity that we incorporate, even no matter how small it is, can really pay huge benefits for us, because there is no cure for Axial Spondyloarthritis. So by incorporating some type of weekly fitness routine, we may be able to not only feel better, but also overall increase our quality of life. So here are four simple activities that we can try to incorporate.
Number One is Yoga. I know we hear this all the time as people with any type of chronic illness, just do yoga, just do yoga, you'll be fine. I'm going to tell you something, just do yoga, there is a great page called Yoga for AS (see link below) and I've had both Geoff and Jamie on the show, they both have Axial Spondyloarthritis. I'll have a link to the show in the show notes. But yoga can relieve joint stiffness caused by AS, it can help engage in activities designed to increase flexibility in our joints, and reduce stiffness. These include low impact workouts, you know, I'm not going to tell you to go and try and do some hot yoga class or something that's way beyond, do what you can do. Don't try to overdo it. You know, if you have access to a Tai Chi class, consider incorporating that in either in place of yoga or In addition, if you can, none of that puts a lot of strain on your back, which is really what you're trying to avoid. Things like yoga and Tai Chi can slowly move your body into certain positions, which can help loosen muscles and joints and improve you know, balance and posture. Yoga also encourages breath control and meditation, which can help reduce stress and tension. And again, I'll have links in the show notes, to some beginner meditation and some beginner breath exercises that you can practice and incorporate all this into Yoga for AS.
Number Two - Morning Stretching. Do this right when you get up. When I get up in the morning, I sit on the edge of the bed, I do a little bit of stretching, a little bit of breathing, and my meditation before I even leave the bedroom, you know, it's very simple. You're not looking to bend yourself like a pretzel; you're just looking to get yourself moving. Take six, eight deep breaths to get those lungs expanding. You know, do some twists at the waist, and bend over as far as you can a couple times. All that is just to stretch yourself and get your body ready for the day that we're going to face. Now for some of us, stretching may be easier after your shower because you've had warm water, which helps to relax your muscles and joints. And if that's the case, do it that way. It really doesn't matter when you do the stretching. It's just that you do it, try to incorporate it in. If you're not doing it at all now, do it once or twice a week, until you can build up to a point where you're doing it on a weekly basis. That way, you are incorporating something that is going to help you pay dividends in the long run in the future, because you're keeping that body moving. If you can. Another simple stretch involves lying on the floor, face down with your hands by your side, and then raising one leg at a time without bending your tea. I really can't do this, but I can lay face down on my bed, and then try and stretch my legs a little bit that way, do again, whatever you can do, you know, if you have some type of a particular stretch, or pose that hurts, don't do it. If you find others that feel okay to do do that. This is not about causing you pain. This is about just doing those very simple things every day to keep yourself moving, it's really what you want to do is just incorporate those little things, we take the baby steps, we build up into the bigger steps, we start to lose some weight, we start to gain some flexibility, we can push our bodies to do other things. A healthy body wants to move, our bodies aren't healthy. So we have to help push it along, we have to be the stronger of it and keep pushing through. And I know if you're dealing with AS, you are strong, just by the sheer nature of getting up every day and fighting through what this disease throws at us, you are a strong person.
Number Three - Cardiovascular Exercise. Well, this can be a little more challenging to do now with COVID and everything shut down. But if you have access to swimming, that is the best if you can walk long distances or bike, those are fantastic ways. Maybe light aerobics, anything that starts to build that cardio system up and make your heart rate go up a little bit, make your breathing go up a little bit and start to stress that body a little bit. So it starts to maybe burn some calories and and get you working and make those muscles work and stretch. Everything to do that is going to help hopefully make you feel better. You want to try and aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, if you can, if you can't squeeze in like 130 minute session a day, break up your activity into say 10 minute blocks. So for example, take a brisk 10 minute walk if you can, maybe you do 10 minutes in the morning of walking 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes in the evening after dinner. And that way, you've got your 30 minutes of brisk walking in. Or if you can go 30 minutes to an hour of swimming. If you can bike for half an hour, anything like that to get that heart beating and pumping will help to work your blood pressure and help with your cholesterol as your body continues to do what it likes to do, which is that exercise.
Number Four - Strength Training. Incorporate strength dream Now this doesn't mean you got to go in the gym and hit the machines hard and everything. If you're like me and it's it's challenging, work with a kettlebell, if you don't have a kettlebell, go put the biggest can good you have in a bag and just lift that maybe you set it down, lift it up, set it down, lift it up, and just repeat that half a dozen times, maybe you lift it and do curls, no matter what shape you're in. If you've been on the couch, you're way overweight, you're dealing with the abs, and you just don't know where to start. Just get up and move and walk. One thing I've said many times that I like to incorporate is push-ups. Now because I've had multiple hip replacements and they damaged the nerves in my left leg. I can't do a traditional pushup where you're up on your toes, because I can't feel my toes in my left leg. And I'll actually tip over. So what I've gotten to is doing what in gym we used to call the girls push up, which was the push up where you're on your knees. That's the only way I know because I'm I can actually feel from my knee up. So I do those well commercials are on. So I might get in 30 or 40 per commercial setting, which is fantastic for strengthening my arms, making my chest stretch all of it. So try that then you're not losing out on watching your favorite TV show. You're incorporating something in between that. Maybe its get up and walk from your couch to your kitchen, couch to your kitchen. I don't get anything to eat while you're out in the kitchen. Just during commercials just do that walking back and forth. It's always to build the little activities that we want to get going.
So again, try to get if you can 30 minutes of any type of strength training into to start it off ultimately What we want to do is develop a weekly exercise routine. Now first and foremost, consult your doctor, talk with your doctor about what types of exercises they think would be good for you to do, and what they think would not be good for you to do. Because again, we don't want you to get hurt, start slow. Because AS affects the spine and joints and causes back pain and too many activities can actually worsen the pain and inflammation. Start with if 10 minutes a day, 10-15 minutes a day. And let's see if we can't work it up. If you start with five minutes of walking back and forth in the living room, maybe in a month, you can do 10 minutes. That's huge. It might not sound like much, but that's 100% increase of what you're able to do just say 30 days before, avoid high impact exercise, anything that is high impact is not going to generally be good for a pain, inflammation. Now, that's not all of us. Some folks are just maybe new in their journey can still do high impact exercises, playing basketball, whatever it is, if you can do it, do it. And if it doesn't cause you pain, do it. If you are like myself fused, have had joint replacements; stick with low or no impact workouts, whatever you can do to incorporate that. And then lastly, try not to play any contact sports. For most of us, this is a given in our conditions we're not going to be but things like American football, soccer, rugby, those might not be the most advantageous types of activities for us to incorporate, you know, if there's too much physical contact, you know, in my case, heck, if I tried to play American football, I get, you know, just crushed, I'd have bones break in and backbreaking. So, you know, avoid that if you can do what your body tells you can do. And the takeaway I want everybody to know is go over to my Instagram page, as_podcast. I'll have a link in the show notes. I'm going to start using the hashtag, #weeklyexerciseforas I want you to please start tagging your exercise pictures in there. Let's grow that hashtag, hook up, and send me friend you know, follow me on Instagram, let me know so I could follow you back. Let's all just flood that hashtag with things that we're doing. Even if it's just getting up and walking in your living room, take a selfie, tag it and that way I can follow you shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I know what you're doing. Let's try to get together Let's be a support network for everybody. Let's do this. Let's really push each other to become really really much better from where we are currently sitting at to where we want to be. Let's take back we lost 2020 based upon fears of COVID and what's going on, let's make 2021 The year of Axial Spondyloarthritis exercise. So again, it's #weeklyexerciseforas look at that on my Instagram page, which is as_podcast, Instagram.com/as_podcast. And let's do this, and make sure to go to spondypodcast.com sign up for the newsletter. And please if you think you like everything going on with the show, feel free to go to buymeacoffee.com and leave a donation either weekly or ongoing for the show, it's appreciated. But big information coming up in the future and let's get this all going. Let's not wait for the New Year to make resolutions to get healthy. Let's start now in December and push forward so that we can take back 2021 you all have a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you. Take care!