With arthritis and really, any type of chronic illness there is a strong inclination to skip your workouts.
Let’s face it, when you don’t feel great the last thing you want is to do your hair and gym makeup, and drive ten to fifteen minutes to the club. I hear you friend. I am in the same situation because I have arthritis ev-er-y-where. But I’ve been able to be very consistent my entire life with zero prescription or OTC drugs.
So how have I remained so consistent with my exercise program? Before we get into that, let me first tell you what I do.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday weight training twenty five minutes.
Tuesday, Thursday yoga ninety minutes.
Monday through Friday stay bike twenty minutes or rebounder fifteen minutes.
Monday through Friday abs.
Saturday tennis, short walks.
Sunday long walks.
The crucial tools you will need for this program are a stationary bike; a rebounder; a stability ball; hand weights (I have 2 2 lbs., 2 5 lbs. and 2 10 lbs.; and a yoga mat. This program has worked has evolved over the years as I’ve added things and changed things around but the bike, the rebounder, the yoga, and the weights have been constants.
So that’s what I do. How I do it is this: working out from home. My home exercise program, described above is the reason in a nutshell I’ve been able to be so consistent. Flexibility is key. For instance, on the mornings I don’t get on the stay bike, I’ll dance-bounce on the rebounder in the late afternoon.
The Yoga is very demanding, much, much more so than weights. I memorized it twenty five years ago from a Raquel Welch VHS which turns out was the routine she learned from Bikram Shoudry of the infamous Bikram Hot Yoga.
On days when I don’t feel like I can do the entire Bikram for ninety minutes I’ll do a half routine.
I also have four different ab workouts I rotate. I have a long, rather grueling one that was part of the original Jane Fonda Workout. It’s still amazing after all this time. I also do some ab/push-ups on my stability ball which I gleaned from Kate Beckinsale’s InstaGram page.
Have you ever heard of a rebounder? No? Well actually you have. A rebounder is a beautiful wellness tool for arthritis. It’s a mini trampoline! Did you know that bouncing is good for you? It is if you choreograph a little routine for yourself like I have. Or you can purchase a Traci Anderson DVD, although I find Traci’s routines too hard and I don’t care for wearing tennis shoes while I dance-bounce.
The benefits of rebounding are huge. First there is the moving of lymph fluids. This has a detoxifying effect on your blood stream. It brings fresh red blood cells to your skin. It gives you a great workout in only fifteen minutes. It elevates mood; massages the feet; strengthens and tones the legs; loosens stiff hips; improves balance and stability; burns calories and is funk! I call it Soul Cycle on the Rebounder because I put on some really great music and do my dance routines. I use little 2 pound hand weights so my arms get a workout too.
I like the Urban Rebounder. I did my research and found it online. It costs $130 and I feel it’s a very good product for the price. It stores on it side in most any closet. It comes with a balance bar if you need something to hold onto.
I also love using the stationary bike. I love listening to my business courses and podcasts or books on tape while I ride the bike.
One of the biggest obstacles I face every single day is setting aside an entire 60 to 90 minutes of exercise in one stretch. So I don’t, I split them up into two sessions. My first session begins around 8:30, before I start work at 9:00. The other happens around 4:30 or 5:00 when I get off work.
My last tip: Netflix can be a time waster but it can also be a wonderful tool if you manage it. On days when I feel too antsy to do my Yoga, I put on a great Netflix series and the time flies by.
I hope my tried and true fitness program inspires you to start your own today. Daily exercise is crucial to managing your balance, strength and range of motion. It helps you regenerate bone and cartilage and helps you avoid injury when done correctly.
If it’s in the budget a personal trainer who’s experienced in arthritis and joint degeneration would be an excellent investment in yourself, but don’t let it stop you if it’s not. There are many excellent DVD’s and online programs you can follow. I also like international Yoga guru Rocky Heron, who went to high school with my son Christian. @rockyheron ,www.rockyheron.com.
To help you get a solid wellness program started in your own life, I wrote my free download Shiree’s Five Pillars to Optimal Wellness. It’s ten pages of all the things I do to stay healthy, thin and in shape. I teach you the right way to eat; why green juicing is so beneficial for those of us with chronic illness; ways to detox and why it’s so important; how to get a great night sleep; and more. Download it here. I hope you love it as much as I love sharing it with you!
Live beautifully. Eat beautifully.