The bad news is that arthritis is a pain. It can cramp your style socially, professionally, and emotionally. From daily chores, to your work schedule, to evenings with family and friends, arthritis and other disabling conditions can dictate how you do what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom.
The good news is that arthritis can compel you to work smarter and not harder. One of the smartest things you can do to alleviate some of the difficulty of moving about is to move about! Exercise! Keeping your body in tip-top shape will help you handle your disability and your life more efficiently.
Enablement Vs. Disablement
Yes, we're talking about the E-word: Exercise. It's hard to get motivated when just getting dressed and making your way to the gym can wear you out. Pain is a major energy drain. So your first order of business is another E-word: Enablement.
Enabling your life so that despite your disability, you can exercise each day will be a major energy booster. But you've got to be deliberate and methodical about it. Look at your schedule, diet, wardrobe, and even the accessibility features in your home. If any of these is an obstacle to making exercise a regular part of your daily routine, then you need to make some changes.
Discuss Your Fitness Goals
Close your eyes. Now picture what a new, fitter you would look like. Next, learn the steps you need to take to get there. Speak with your doctor or physical therapist about what you want to achieve.
They may be able to offer advice on the best exercises for your condition, particularly low-impact exercises like water aerobics or yoga. Many of these exercises can not only help build muscles and increase your flexibility, but they're also a lot of fun.
Think About Your Location
Are you currently in a home that isn't completely accessible for you? Then maybe you should plan on making some modifications. Cost out the installation of ramps, wider doorways, in-home exercise equipment, and other accessibility features to make your house a home fit for a new fitness buff.
There is a huge selection of exercise DVDs on the market that are specifically tailored for people in wheelchairs, or who are debilitated by arthritis and other chronic ailments. Always consult your doctor or physiotherapist before undertaking a new exercise regimen. And as a safety precaution, if possible, make sure that someone is at home with you when you launch your new fitness program. Maybe you could start working out with your next door neighbor.
If your home is more of a burden than a blessing these days, it may be time to move. Have you considered moving into an assisted living facility? There are many different levels of assistance from which you can choose.
Be methodical and undaunted. Research carefully to find a place likeLake Lanier Gainesville Retirement Community which by design will encourage you to be active physically and socially. Find out what kind of fitness programs they have on site, including specialty groups and clubs - hiking, Pilates, bowling, yoga, gardening - which can help you make new friendships and stay motivated.
Explore All Of Your Options
There is a whole wide world of opportunities, activities, and adventures out there through which you can become more fit and more socially engaged. Explore it. While some time in the gym might be fun once a week, look at other options like going for a walk or swimming, as your disability allows.
If you are in an assisted living facility, take a look at their roster of activities to keep yourself busy. Your local community center may also offer some great ideas about where you can meet other fitness-minded folk.
Just because you suffer from a chronic illness or have a disability that doesnt mean you can't be physically fit. Take a look at your home life and decide if you're in the right place to reach your fitness goals, or if you might be better off moving to an assisted living facility where you have better access. Setting yourself up for success will ensure you reach your goals.
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell has taken her own advice. She's moved her arthritic knees to a new home where a personal trainer has set her on the path to fitness and wellness. She encourages others in her shoes to start out this new year with enthusiasm and the determination to make enablement their most important resolution.