Posts Tagged ‘health’


Saw more logs

Sleep is so important to those of us with an already weak immune system.

It’s no secret that catching major Z’s can be virtually impossible when you have RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), especially when your disease is flaring. Whatever the reason for not being able to sleep; pain, stress, anger, all of the above; sleep is so important for your overall health. In fact, insomnia can further damage an already dysfunctional immune system.

In Health Monitor’s March 2012 issue of “My Guide to RA”, they share 5 tips to help us Rheumies saw more logs (a fancy way to say “get more sleep”).

1. Cover the basics. Your bedroom should help you relax. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, high-quality pillows and no clutter.

2. Develop a relaxation ritual. Plan to relax and wind down at least one hour before you go to sleep. This could include dimming the lights, turning off the TV, listening to soft music, meditating, and/or taking a warm bath with candles and a book.

3. Stretch, stretch, stretch! At home—and even on the road when you travel for work – Some make it a priority to take a hot shower each night. And then follow up with a series of stretches, including yoga.

4. Have sleep and pain medications ready. Check with your doctor to identify the appropriate medicine to take in the evening. After three or four nights of poor sleep, some will turn to a prescribed sleep medication—but only after they have gone through the typical routine of stretching and a hot shower. Tim, a man afflicted by RA said “I used to reach for a sleep aid when I could have stretched,” he notes. “It is so convenient to take the pill.”

5. Exercise regularly. “I try to get good exercise during the course of the day. It just makes my joints feel more lubricated,” says Tim, who likes to walk, bike, swim and work out on the elliptical machine. However, he makes sure to work out earlier in the day, as exercising late will stimulate him and keep him awake.

However it is that you choose to stay in shape through exercise and or relax, just make an effort to do it. Your body will thank you and be more apt to rest at night. God knows you deserve it because fighting disease can definitely take a toll on your system. The full article can be found here.

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Female RunnerA recent article published by NPR titled, “Put Those Shoes on: Running Won’t Kill your Knees” suggests that running might not cause the damage to joints that we once thought it did.

Seeing as though I was somewhat of a runner prior to my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) diagnoses, I started researching the topic immediately. What I’ve found suggests that if one were to start training slowly and gradually increase their distance and speed over an extended period of time, they could see more benefit than harm to their joints in the long run.

In fact, one of the studies discussed in the NPR article compared two different knee types. The first group of knees had arthritis and didn’t run while the second group had arthritis and continued to run. The second group that remained active had less joint damage than the group who avoided running all together.

Being the skeptic that I am, I began testing this theory last week. So far, I’ve done a few short jogs around the neighborhood. Right now, I’m at about 1-mile and am not experiencing after work-out pains. Let’s just hope that keeps up and that those nasty flare-ups stay away.