Let’s talk exercise- more specifically, why engaging in regular physical activity can actually help manage and reduce some of the aggravating symptoms that come with Lupus flares. Firstly, exercise can actually strengthen some parts of the body that may be affected by lupus, including but not limited to: the heart, lungs, bones, and joints. By regularly ensuring that these organs and bodily structures are trained and supplied with healthy blood flow, you are optimizing your internal health and well-being.
Building upon this, exercise actually helps reduce inflammation by stimulating hormones that are responsible for regulating chemicals involved in the inflammation process. If you are currently taking corticosteroid medication, exercise also has the added benefit of helping control weight gain commonly seen in prescribed patients. Aside from its’ role as a stress release activity, exercise also aids in reduction of muscle stiffness, thereby increasing your range of motion and comfort throughout the day and night. With all these benefits, it is readily apparent that adding in a form of exercise to your weekly routine will likely increase your quality of life. That being said, the question now is what forms of activity are appropriate for you?
Studies from the Lupus Research Foundation recommend that lupus patients engage in activities such as walking, swimming, bicycling, low-impact aerobics, stretching, and even using a elliptical machine. Lower impact exercises such as these have been seen to strengthen bones and tone muscles without aggravating inflamed joints. Interestingly enough, these activities have also been linked with lowered risk of developing osteporosis. As with any recommendations that we provide our warriors, we highly suggest that you consult your doctor to see what exercises may work best for you as well as what frequency you should be engaging in physical activity.