Workout woman

Exercise and Ankylosing Spondylitis

By | Exercise | 16 Comments

You get the diagnosis and then you get “the list”.  The list of options of what works, what doesn’t, and what might help you live pain-free or at least with a little relief. You hear the word exercise. I know my first thought with that was ya right! Try and exercise when you can barely stand for longer than a minute without feeling pain. After much thought on this “advice”, I figured I might as well give it a try. I was at the point where I would try anything at least once to try and relieve some pain.

Gym Time

I walk into my local gym for a little cardio and some arm and leg sculpting.  Every intention is to conquer the world today.  I jump onto the treadmill and decide I will push myself a little.  I was feeling good that day,  I could do it. To my, somewhat, surprise I did great.  I got off the treadmill and felt a little better. Knowing it may be short lived I headed over to the weights. I was a workout machine!

Superman Wasn’t Even This Brave

I finished my workout, went home and planned my classes for the next week. I was doing Yoga, pilates and core classes the rest of the week, while still fitting in straight cardio and some weights. Great plan! I was ready, I had energy I forgot existed! The next day came and I had a great Yoga class that was slow moving and meant for people with sore joints. It was extremely helpful with all the gentle stretches. The next few days and workouts came quickly and I was on fire. Then it was time for the pilates class. I know many of us have the SI joint pain and I am no exception. Little did I realize that the day I chose to go we were focusing on the hips, butt and lower back area. OUCH! I pushed through the class and well, let’s just say, I am quickly learning how often and how hard I can workout weekly!  I did indeed push myself, just maybe a little too hard.

The Aftermath of Ambitious Plans

Although I was a little sore that evening, I still had this amazing energy that I truly missed and was again ready to take on another class the following day. I was a workout rookie but I felt like I was turning a new leaf when it came to my AS. I found the miracle that was giving me pain relief. I closed my eyes and then my alarm sounded bright and early the following morning. I could barely lift my body out of bed. I was hurting BAD! I wasn’t sure if it was from just one class or from the combination of a straight 5 day workout. Which by the way I was told to take breaks in between days but I never listened before so why would I start? I was going to feel better fast!

My Workout Conclusion

Despite my first AS improving exercise experience ending in a bit of disappointment, I truly do believe it helped and hopefully will continue. I keep up on cardio and Yoga but have found that weights are a little harder for me than I had hoped. My hands can barely handle gripping the 3 pound weights for too long at a time.  I have learned that on my harder days that it is okay to skip the gym and just try to get in a few minutes of gentle stretching at home.  I also attempt pilates class still but have found if I need to step out early that it is okay to listen to my body when it cannot handle any more pressure. I’m no Olivia Newton John but I do try to make exercise a part of my daily routine. It seems to give me a little extra boost and as all AS patients know, every little bit of extra energy we can get is cherished.

Share With Me

AS patients:  Do you exercise regularly? If so, what works best for you? How are the after-effects of a weekly workout for you?

Support System: Are you an AS workout buddy? Do you notice a difference in your loved one when they got a workout in? Positive or Negative?