Daily Activity and Lupus - Have you considered Stretching?

With an illness like lupus,  engaging in daily activity can be uncertain.  Some days,  25 jumping jacks can seem like a snap.  Others, simply swinging your legs out of bed exhausts like you've just run a marathon. I recall, in particular,  a period of time where every joint in my body ached, and swollen nodes along the bottom of my feet caused horrific pain with any pressure. All I could wear on my feet were slippers -  truly the only shoes that didn't constrain or cause pain. So was I going lace up the sneaks to try and fit in some exercise? No way! 

Fast forward a few years, and I am healthy and stable, and stronger than ever. My daily workouts (or at least 5 days a week) include cardio, leg work, weights, and abs - a far cry from what I was limited to when my disease was active! But I recently incorporated a new activity into my present workout routine - that of stretching - which would have been a perfect solution when my lupus was flaring years ago. 

Stretching for 10 minutes in the morning has been so refreshing.  It literally gets my blood flowing,  and, while I know it sounds cheesy,  I feel so alive afterward! I do legs and back, arms and neck, and I am amazed at how much tightness I have. The first day after I stretched,  I got up off the floor to walk to the bathroom,  and I realized how smooth and loose I was. I wasn't hobbling, and didn't even know I hobbled in the morning! (Not hobbling because of lupus pain, mind you, just old-lady-early morning-tightness hobbling.) 

I find stretching to be relaxing,  invigorating, and a wonderful way to check in with my body each morning.  So much of disease management is about self and body awareness.  Stretching would have been a wonderful way to take stock of my lupus symptom-ridden body each day. I could have made daily notes on my chronic control spreadsheet (which you can find here), tracked how i was feeling day to day, and reported back to my doctor with more precision and accuracy.  Many times, I couldn't pinpoint when my pain came or went! 

Hope you give it a try. If you do, or have your own helpful daily activity routine, don't forget to share in the comments. Happy stretching! 


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