I attended my first (hopefully of many) water aerobic classes last night. Like many people with RA, I used to be more physically active than I am today. RA isn’t the reason I quit exercising, it’s just the latest of many factors — or should I say “excuses” — that have made me more sedentary.
I had done some water aerobics classes in the past, so there weren’t any real surprises. The instructor was good, the class size wasn’t too large, and in all it was a good experience. There were, however, things that I couldn’t do. I can’t cross my legs because of my artificial hip, and I can’t yet raise my left arm over my head because of the shoulder surgery. I also had problems doing those exercises that put too much stress on my shoulder like treading water or using the water dumbbells. However, I did work hard and adapted the steps to what I could do.
We all know that the application of ice/cold is good for inflammation (although cold weather makes us feel worse!). So I don’t know whether it was the hour-long immersion in the cool pool water or whether it was really exercising long-dormant muscles and joints, but once the class was over, I felt better than I had in well over a year. I felt loose, limber and amazingly pain free. Assuming that I would “pay the piper” this morning with tight, sore muscles, I was even more surprised how much better I felt this morning than I did yesterday. Even my knees didn’t complain as much going up the stairs.
So did I have a perfect workout? No. But I did do what I could and was amazed at the difference it made.
I believe that all of us, especially those with RA, have to learn that lesson. Doing something is better than doing nothing. And doing what you can — even if it’s not perfect — to make your life/health/relationships better pays dividends that we can only imagine.
So, today, do one thing good for your health, do one thing to make someone else smile, do one thing (like paying off a bill or saving a little extra) to make your life a little more secure, and see how much better life is tomorrow.
Then do it again tomorrow.
That’s all for now. Thanks for checking in.