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Articles > Words of wisdom from my rheumatologist: "Do gentle exercise--it gives you energy!"

Words of wisdom from my rheumatologist: "Do gentle exercise--it gives you energy!"

Diana Bierman

Provided by HealthMonitor

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Patient: Stephanie Mortellaro, 41
Diagnosis: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Residence: Brockport, NY

HOW IT HELPS ME
'I was a professional ballet dancer just out of college when an RA diagnosis caused me to hang up my pointe shoes forever. But about a year later, I rallied, finding my way back to regular dance-like exercise through gentle, adaptive yoga poses. Now, as a yoga instructor for people with autoimmune conditions, I get to retell the story of how making a consistent habit of gentle movement'even when it's the last thing I feel like doing'preserves my flexibility and strength and gives me a sense of power and control over my body. I just remember to rein myself in on the good days, when I'm tempted to work a bit harder. Otherwise, I'll pay for it the next five!'

WHY IT WORKS
'Your muscles and joints work as a team to keep your body flexible, strong and feeling good. Doing strength-building exercise, like yoga, can help relieve the stress and pain your joints might encounter during daily activities, such as stair climbing. Of course, people with arthritis, lupus or other autoimmune diseases have to approach exercise differently. With modified yoga, for example, foam blocks and elastic bands help you adapt poses to your body's needs. I also teach my patients to distinguish between the slight, healthy burn of a productive workout, and the obvious pain that means they're aggravating their disease."
Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis Loss of Strength Pain Stress Arthritis Systemic Lupus Erythematosis Exercise More Burn

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