Strength Training For The 60+ Woman With Psoriatic Arthritis
Last updated: June 2019
I have had psoriatic arthritis for 35 years now. As we all know this disease can affect all our joints and each of us at a different level. Some of us get affected in our feet and hands and develop deforming PsA. When you think about any type of exercise, you must look at the severity of your disease.
Trying out strength training
If we lived long enough, you will all get old. I had my first major fall at age 60. It was one of those where I had fallen and couldn’t get up and having PsA and fibromyalgia didn’t help with this. My doctor was telling me that as we age, we do lose muscle mass and that strength training can help with this.
I have been on a program for about 6 months now. I do strength training 3 times a week. Trust me; it’s only about 15 minutes at a time. I know that doing this will save my bone density, help my heart and my diabetes. It’s never too late to build muscle, remember that muscle mass starts declining after age 30. WOW, so I have been losing muscle mass for over 30 years. As you get stronger you will be able to do more things on your own.
Decreasing fall risk
We need to increase our bone strength which declines 1 percent per year after age 40. If your bones are weak, they tend to break easily even with a small fall. Strength preparation slows down bone loss and builds bone density. Do you find that your balance and coordination is off on some days? Adding in some strength training can help you prevent falls. I know that falling is the leading cause of injury to us older adults.
Four years ago, I had my body mass index check. I was at 42. I had to think about that for a while and realize that my body fat alone was almost 50%. I decided right then that I needed to do something to change this. It took me 2 years to put a plan in place to build muscle. Your metabolism gets very slow as you get older, but as you build muscle your metabolism increases. Muscle is more active than fat. My body mass is at 31 today. I still have work to do to get where my doctor wants me to be.
Weight management and PsA
I believe that with eating right and some strength training that I have improved my health. My arthritis does feel better when I’m at my right weight and my doctor said she might take me off of diabetes medication if my numbers continue to stay where they are. Unfortunately, I am still in the obese range by 2 pounds but expect to be at my right weight and my BMI in about 3 months. The one thing that I have noticed is that my back pain has improved.
You will know if you are doing too much; take it slow. I know my limit is 15 minutes a day. That’s all I can give, and I walk 3 days a week for 20 minutes. You might be able to do more; gradually increase your time.
Having an exercise routine
There are days I just don’t want to do anything, and I don’t. I try not to do this often and stick to the routine, but as you know when you have psoriatic arthritis it is hard to get out of bed some days. I have been hearing for years, no pain, no gain. They weren’t talking to me. I already have enough pain without adding on more. With eating right, strength training and walking I have managed to keep off 32 pounds and keep my BMI somewhat low. My goal is to drop another 20 pounds and get my BMI to 25. It will take time, but I will get there.
As always, consult your doctor or even a physical therapist before starting any new program. As I said earlier, there are different types of psoriatic arthritis and we are all affected differently. You can have your doctor put together a program that works around your illness and your pains. You need to move it or lose it.
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