Sometimes even three steps can be a mountainous feat for those with Lupus. But, I have confidence that constant exercise and physical therapy can provide support. I have some friends that are a little hesitant about joining a gym because they feel it is not only a committal, but too demanding. I can agree that it’s a little intimidating to walk into a gym with everyone moving so fast with their stretches, kicks, and weightlifting. They make all this seemingly, natural movement, look so easy that anybody can do it. This is not the case for many people. For instance, those who have lupus can’t just change out of it and leave it in the gym locker to go exercise. Not to mention that it makes you feel the ‘I can’t do that’ feeling before you even make it into the locker room! And in my case, many gym enthusiasts look so dang on thin and cute that I swear, if only for a moment, I forget about my lupus problems to only transfer the pain into envy. Not to be discouraged, I still go to the gym to use the dry sauna and hot tub.
If you’re like me and would like a little more of a medically trained setting to exercise, you may want to subscribe to a chiropractic or physical therapy clinic near your home. Local, independently owned, physical therapy clinics are popping up everywhere! You can actually pop into one at various times throughout the week — just like you would with a gym membership. There are many neighborhood locations that offer services that do not require insurance and can provide a payment plan.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy has information on what you should know as a consumer when seeking the services of physical therapists. They also provide resources for consumers that may qualify for financial assistance. Also, HealthSource (chiropractic focused) locations and services may be a start to seeking care. Keep in mind that independent clinics do have professional certified professionals on staff. I’ve tried a local HealthSource in my area. I found it quite rewarding and continue to practice many of the daily exercises and techniques that I learned while under the care of a chiropractor and qualified occupational therapists. There are many local colleges and vocational schools that offer comparable services for a minimal fee! These services are performed by students, but strictly under the guided eye of a certified professional. Before signing up for any services from independent providers like those mentioned, consider asking your physician about what exercises can help you move forward to better health.
Lupus can force laziness. But even lupus needs a body to perform periodic movement on a regular basis. So whatever you do, be sure to schedule some kind of physical movements amidst your daily activities. There is a great resource available in the Lupus Foundation of America’s website shop entitled “The Right Moves for Lupus: A Gentle Fitness Program.” It’s a DVD of light, low-impact exercises designed by an instructor diagnosed with lupus, for people living with lupus. It’s a DVD that you can play whenever and wherever! (Hmm? I just may get it myself.)
If you need a little more motivation, take a stroll to help you think about it. Consider signing up for a nice walk with a local lupus support group in your area. You can find out about official walks to support lupus awareness at the Lupus Foundation of America‘s national website here at this Walk To End Lupus Now link.
For those interested in participating in a Walk To End Lupus Now event in the Columbia, South Carolina area, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P. S. I had to take slow steps–step-by-step–but I made up! Trying to move those muscles can be a challenge. Yet, I did it and you can too!