Is Your Exercise Plan Doomed to Fail?

The worst mistake I made while attempting to come up with an exercise program since being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis was trying to force my body to do what it could no longer do. I failed miserably each time I tried to resume one of my pre-chronic life workouts.

Why my plan was doomed for failure

The number one reason I failed was because I chose physical activities that I used to be able to do and not what I could actually do. Choosing to go for walks when I could hardly withstand the pain I experienced from going grocery shopping was ludicrous. Yet I continued trying to go back to the workouts I used to enjoy.

Getting real

Walking, running, or any exercise that required me to put pressure on my knees, hips, toes, or wrists were out of the question. Riding a bike or exercises that moved my hips in a circular motion cause my hips to dislocate. To help find what I might be able to do I listed as many forms of exercise that I could think of. Then I crossed out those that I knew were impossible, put a question mark next to ones that I wasn’t sure of, and stars next to ones that were realistic. One that was questionable was water aerobics. At first, this form of exercise was fabulous for me. I couldn’t get enough of it. I had to give it up after suffering permanent nerve damage in my left leg. Never knowing when I was going to lose feeling and fall led to a few near drowning incidents which finally made it possible for me to accept that I had to move on. But it did teach me of some moves I could do outside of a structured class.

Finding my groove

Thankfully I am stubborn because I continued trying different things and finally found what works for me. While my stepper puts pressure on my knees, it doesn’t cause my hips to dislocate or pull on the muscles in my sacrum. Five to ten minutes of working out my arms with light weights is something I can do most days. My favorite piece of equipment in my home gym is my rowing machine. I was apprehensive about using it, because I feared it would aggravate my hips and knees. To my surprise out it never bothers my hips and the longer I use it the less it bothers my knees.

If you are struggling to find an exercise program ask yourself this: Is what I am asking my body to do realistic? Most importantly focus less on what you can’t do and more on what you can.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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