CrossFit Training with Psoriatic Arthritis?

What an unlikely pair. A workout regime that will test your stamina, build your strength and possibly make you question your life choices. The other a life-changing autoimmune condition known to restrict such movement.

CrossFit hardly seems to be the choice of movement for those of us who suffer from psoriatic arthritis. Last year in a moment of a splendid moment of sanity, I decided to join cross fit. It was something I have always wanted to do. Heading for summer remission meant I had a good head start too.

Are exercise classes even possible with psoriatic arthritis?

My definition of a head start was getting some training in before winter and my flare season came along. There were no ways I would be able to train into winter, or would I? In the beginning, it was necessary to make peace with the fact that this would be a slow process. There is no quick fix. Pack your patience before you even start. There will still be days when you are too sore to get out of bed.

I did some research and chatted to athletes and trainers and many of them assured me that they could assist me in training within the realms of what I can do physically. I just had to be willing to start at the beginning.

Finding a coach that works

If you are going to do this, you need to commit and be willing to find the coach and club that is the right fit for you. Be straight up and honest about your conditions and your fears. As well as your limitations.

The right coach can scale your workouts and guide you from the beginning. This will help you avoid major injuries and work on building your strength in the right way.

Listen to your body

Take it slow. 1-2 days a week. You can add more days as you feel you have the strength to do it. Might take us longer to get there, but we can get there. I promise you, the reward of feeling your body get stronger is indescribable. 

Just this morning in the gym, my coach complimented me on my good form. I can feel that a few months later I am moving easier. Despite not being pain-free, life is most certainly sweeter when you have more strength. Rest when you need to.

Your health is an investment

Support your joints, follow a well-balanced diet and get yourself some good quality training shoes. Investing in decent cross-fit shoes was one of the best things I did for myself. My pain levels during training decreased and everything just worked better.

Training can lead to a healthier and stronger body allowing your muscles to support your joints and you never know, maybe this winter you won’t have to sit and watch from the sidelines.

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