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Workout difficulties

  • By Broken73

    I used to workout a lot before I was dx with RA. Since the time I was dx several years ago, I have gained 80lbs. RA hit me really hard and we have had a really hard time finding a drug to control it. A couple times over the last couple years I have had rare times where I felt good and have worked out, I would feel weird, Like there was a electrical current running trough my body, and I couldn’t work out with any kind of intensity. When I would work out with my friends that knew e pre RA I would push myself harder then I would then I would if I was working out solo, and it would seem I would end up in a flare. Anyway, recently I was started on a new med and hope to lose some weight , I started some easy workouts and those electrical currents are back. To make it worse when I went to see my former trainer and to tell him I need to lose some weight and we were talking about workouts, he was telling me to hit it hard, and I said I don’t know if I can ever hit it as hard as I did back before RA, and he rolled his eyes. I’m sure it sounded like a excuse, but I don’t think he understands, I don’t want excuses, I want to give it everything I have, but don’t don’t know how or what is happening to me. I have been to my pcp, but she wants to blame everything on RA, my rheumatologist has done some blood work as it pertains to RA.

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  • By Lauren Tucker Keymaster

    Thanks for sharing Broken 73. We are sorry to hear that you are having some workout difficulties. Sounds like you have a great attitude and really want to get back into working out.
    While of course taking it slow is the most beneficial, you know your body the best, so you do whatever you feel is best.
    I hope others may chime in here to offer you some support too. Please know uou are not alone in your RA so please feel free to reach out to us anytime .

    Come back and let us know how you are doing.
    Best,
    Lauren (RheumatoidArthritis.net team Member)

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  • By sharoncookie57

    Hi My GP told me to try working out and for balance. In a month I have had 4 flares that made me unable to do much of anything. Walking across the room was so hard. I like most of the balance one’s and it has helped. One girl will understand and go slow. The other will have me do 30 on each one. I wish there was more understanding on RA. I am about to drop out as it sometimes is even hard to get there.

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  • By sharoncookie57

    I have dropped out as a nerve in my back flared up and was very painful for about 3 weeks. Dr. said it was from the P.T.

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  • By Erin Rush Moderator

    I am sorry you had to drop out, sharoncookie57! But, if it’s what is best for your pain, then I think you made the right decision. I am sorry some of the PT staff we not more educated on RA. Thank you for sharing and I hope your back starts feeling better very soon! Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

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  • By jenniecorey

    A lot of people don’t understand how we feel. I keep getting told by a friend that the pain is all in my head and to keep pushing myself and work out. I haven’t told my work out crew that i have RA because I don’t want them to think I want sympathy. I also don’t mention any pain that I feel because my coach told me that he had cancer and worked his way back to walking. I don’t really know how to feel. I push myself anyway and some days come home and take a nap. I’m down to 1mg of prednisone now and some days my body just throbs or my feet feel like they are burning. I now just try to modify when i can. If things get too bad, I will just start working out alone at home to exercises that work for me.

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  • By ktinflorida

    Hi Jennie. Don’t let the cancer coach guilt you in to doing more than you can handle. We hear cancer and think that if they can persevere then we can too. It isn’t the same. I’m not down-playing cancer, but RA is a big deal too. Everyone responds differently to illness.
    You said you are down to 1mg of prednisone. I hope you are on something else besides that. Prednisone is usually a short term solution. What are you on to stop the progression of the disease?
    Hang in there and have the strength to do what is right for you.
    KT

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  • By jenniecorey

    @ktinflorida Thanks for making me feel better. I know they are 2 different things but figured if he could push thru then i should also. Some days i try and others days I am just hurting too much. I just took 2 days off from working out and can tell a big difference. My body isn’t hurting as much thru out the day. I also take methotrexate – 6 pills once a week.

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  • By Achyinseattle

    I too get those “electric current” like feelings in my legs at night after exercising. I just started deep water exercise 2 weeks ago and I love it, but afterwards I am guaranteed not to sleep except for in fits and starts between waking numerous times because of pain throughout my body and those weird current feelings. Especially my hips and my wrists.
    I also have a non-RA (I think) knee pain, possibly an LCL problem and it hurts soooo bad after class. but I have to wait until Jan 1st and new health coverage to be seen unless I want to pay for it all myself.
    I feel depressed that I love this exercise and I only experience pain occasionally during the actual class but so much afterwards for the next 2 days that I wonder if it is worth it, and whether I am harming my knee worse or harming my wrists from the foam “weights” we hold under water.
    I get the muscle pain, my thighs and my ribs/arms are sore from lack of use after class, and I know I will get stronger, but do I fight through the other pain? Do I slow down and just do an abbreviated workout? I don’t want the instructor or other members thinking I am a wuss, but I really don’t want to explain RA to them. Everybody else in the class seems to do it all so easily 🙁

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  • By howardhill

    I work a roofing and gutter business which I get a work out everyday.Have had R.A for at least 14 years.Found a supplement that controls mine back then.I try to let everyone know that I come in contact with about what works for me. M.S.M. 1000 mg capsules I take only 2 per day, took 6 for at least two weeks, then was able to reduce to 2 capsules, have blood work done, have not had to take any other products, hope this helps ,I don’t inflame, no joint distention

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  • By howardhill

    Also stay away from tablets,don’t seem to get the same results,thanks

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  • By trebleinthekchn

    Prior to my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I was always a long distance runner. I’ve completed ten road races, and four of them were half marathon distance. Just thinking of that makes me feel so tired, but I honestly have no idea how I was physically able to. Now, I have semi retired my running days as the pressure on my joints is just too much to handle. I know it’s a good idea to keep my joints fluid, but most of the time I choose not to exercise to save what is left of my energy and put that towards extra relaxation time.

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  • By jessie

    I have read all of your comments and you all seem to be doing really well. I have tried working out, but always end up with a flare up that puts me back 2 weeks. My Dr tells me to walk 20 mins a day but I can’t . I have tried and it kills me. When I come home from a full days work(i work full time) I am absolutely exhausted. Does anyone else feel the same ??

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  • By Broken73

    When I try to work out , I end up in a flare too. I try small amounts of exercise at a time. Or do my exercise first thing in the a.m. before I get tired. I don’t push myself hard thought or ill end up broken.

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  • By ktinflorida

    I couldn’t do it either. Work was all I could handle. Some times your main focus has to be just to keep your job. If you flare that easily, maybe your meds need to be tweaked. Does your doctor know? Does he seem to care?

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  • By ColdOne

    I am starting to think working out and losing weight need to be considered two separate topics, and this is coming from someone who lost almost 30 lbs working out and controlling my calories. However, the amount of time I needed to work out and the intensity level I needed to maintain to make it work, would not be possible for me now, and calorie control alone has not worked for me.

    What I am coming to understand is that working out while controlling calories is a method of losing weight, but not the only or most reliable method–and also one that will not fit into everyone’s life.

    Exercise and physical activity are very important, don’t get me wrong, but there are ways to lose weight that do not require it. They usually involve minimizing or changing carbohydrates, which is all I will say so that no one thinks I am promoting anything. I am currently trying such a plan to lose an additional 20 lbs and can let you know how it goes. My only real evidence that it will work is that my wife lost 85lbs. (!!!) on a plan that required that you eat carbohydrates in a different way than is typical for the American diet.

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  • By Jo J

    Anyone with RA should run (walk, limp) away from any trainer that tells you to “Push Through!” Period. Trainers, even certified, are rarely educated on disease states. Unfortunately, many of the staff in the gym setting are ill prepared to help people with chronic conditions. If you are lucky you will find a trainer who has chosen to expand their knowledge base in order to help those of us with chronic health conditions.

    I suggest working with a Physical Therapist to evaluate you and help plan a program for you. Then, sign a consent for the PT to talk speak directly to the trainer of your choice. This has really helped me in the past.

    Also, look for “Gentle Therapeutic Yoga” or “Adaptive Yoga” classes. Ones where the teachers have special training. This can help introduce movement, flexibility and balance back into your life and exercise routine, thus allowing you to move back into other types of exercise. When I have become way to inactive or immobile, I always start with Yoga to get going again.

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  • By Malandra123

    Until about 3 years ago, I exercised 6 days a week. I ran 30 miles a week and did 2 BodyPump, 2 spinning classes, 2 kettlebell classes weekly. I spent over £20,000 on a home gym so that I could exercise on the days I couldn’t make it to the gym. …

    I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 2 years ago. Although, symptoms began soon after I quit smoking in 2012. I began to experience menopausal symptoms soon after quitting smoking. So I experienced a double whammy of menopausal and RA symptoms all at once. Anyhow, I did a great deal of research on the menopause as I was determined to not go down the prescription medication route. I found natural remedies and altered my diet. Miraculously, the symptoms abated after only 6 months. …
    I continued exercising and honed my body to perfection after having gained 3 stones after quitting smoking and coping with the menopause. Only to feel twinges in my thumb and left shoulder. I put the twinges down to overexercising, but as time went on, I found I could no longer open water bottles. My knees became stiff, as did my ankles. When the pain became unbearable, I saw a doctor and I was subsequently diagnosed with RA. …

    I was prescribed the usual drugs, but I didn’t take them as I felt the side effects would cause more harm than good in the long run. So I resorted to over the counter anti-inflammatories.
    Meanwhile, I was unable to exercise at all. Walking was excruciatingly painful and I hobbled around like an old lady. I got into a psychological funk – feeling sorry for myself, so I comfort ate. Sadly, I ate all the things I knew were bad for RA: ice cream, pizza, burgers, chips, crisps, red meat, pasta and rice. Consequently, I gained 5 stones – making my RA so bad, I was unable to walk down any number of steps, Getting out of bed was torturous! Every joint in my body was on fire. …
    I had previously done a lot of research on RA, so I knew what I had to do, but lacked the willpower. Anyhow, when I was unable to get out of bed 2 weeks ago, I resolved to do something about it. …

    Exactly 12 days ago, I embarked upon a water only fast. After the second day, I stopped taking the over the counter anti-inflammatories. I had been taking 2 x 300mg daily. On day 3, I was able to hobble around around my flat. By day 7, the pain levels in my fingers, shoulder, arms and knees had reduced by about 70%. Although, my ankles and feet were still very inflamed. On day 7 I began 30 minute sessions on an Airdyne stationery bike – and stretching for 45 minutes afterwards. The stationary bike is a great machine as it has moving arms – so I am working upper and lower body simultaneously. I am on day 12 of my water fast, and have used the stationary bike for 5 days in a row. I’ve done intervals of 30 seconds all out and 90 minutes at minimum effort. This morning I got out of bed and could not believe that I was able to stand up without using my arms to push me up. My fingers are almost painless, as are my knees. However, my ankles are still very painful. One of them more so than the other. …

    I’ve no idea how long I will continue the fast. I had planned on 40 days. I may go all the way or not. However long I last, I know that I will not return to my bad eating habits. I plan to eat vegetarian for at least 6 months – as well as avoiding processed sugars, gluten, processed carbs, meat, legumes, nightshades and al things processed. …

    As a fitness fanatic, I thought my life was practically over until less than 2 weeks ago. I am feeling so much better and just wanted to share with somebody who knows what it feels likes to go fro super fit to a virtual cripple. …

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