Hitting your lupus stride

We had a great couple of vacations this summer - one of which was just at the beginning of August - our trip to England. It was great - the girls loved it, and we got in some really wonderful family time to boot. But did I do much exercising while I was there? Did I make time (or have time!) to run three times a week like I do at home? Nope. I missed almost two whole weeks - and when I came back, I paid for it.

The first time back on the treadmill wasn't awful...it was just hard. It was like all of the stamina I'd built up over the past few months had just withered away, and I found myself huffing and puffing around the half-way point. I was able to complete my workout as usual, but it didn't feel as good as it had. Until I hit the 2-week mark. After two weeks, once I'd run about 6 times, I hit my stride again. I felt better than ever - like I was at the top of my game - like I could have run for a couple of minutes more.

And that's the kind of stride we all want to hit with lupus. We all want to settle into our new life with lupus (including the compromises, limitations, and adjustments) quickly - wishing that our "new norm" didn't feel so "new." But it takes time - just like anything. We can't expect to instantly feel at home with the idea of slowing down, resting more, or passing on activities.  It may not be natural to suddenly ask for help and then accept it, but the longer we put it off, the harder it will be once we start.

The more often we "live well", the easier it becomes to make the choices to do so. The more often we say "yes" to that helping hand, the more natural it will feel to ask for the assistance in the first place.

It only took me two weeks to get back on the treadmill track - imagine if you had just two short weeks of living well under your belt. Start today, and those choices will seem more natural than they did before. And you'll feel better, too!


Sportsgirl said…
I was actually quite interested to read that you try to work out 3 times a week. I guess I think people with lupus don't work out much; that's why I feel so fortunate myself. Having said that, I have noticed a decline in what I am able to tolerate these days. I have definitely slowed down some. I'd be interested to hear from others how much they work out and what they can do.
Sara Gorman said…
Sportsgirl - thanks for sharing! Your body must be up to something if it's hinting for you to slow down a bit. Maybe it's only temporary - I'm sure you're well attuned to what your body can and can't handle. Just keep listening!

As far as my three days a week go, I just run a short 15 minutes on the treadmill each time - some may not even consider that a workout! But it works for me - just enough to make me sweat, but not too much that I'm spent for the day. I'm able to work out a lot of things in my mind in 15 minutes, too. I think the mental benefits of taking that 1/4 of an hour for myself does wonders!

(And that's the great thing about any type or level of exercise - just walking for 15 minutes, no matter how slowly - will allow you to regroup. So, so important - Sportsgirl will tell you!)

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