Just Keep Moving
This is by far the most uttered phrase in my daily life. Not just the hard days, every day. Push through the pain. Keep moving. Don’t give in. I tell myself that I can make it if I just keep moving, if I can just keep going, then I can make it. I can survive until I have a moment to rest again.
Just keep moving
If we tell ourselves to just keep moving, just keep going, that there is an end in sight, then we can keep our joints active even if it hurts. As much as it pains me to hear it, and even worse to believe it, sometimes the last thing that we want to do is the first thing that we should. While rest is important, consistent movement is at least as important, if not more so.
Movement is important
Movement, while sometimes painful, is vital to combating some of the joint stiffness from PsA. Sometimes, it is only through sheer will that I stand and stretch. But it is necessary. Gently stretching your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints can, in my experience, pay off in spades.
Better sleep is like the gold mine of benefits. It seems like it is always that thing that is just out of my reach. After tracking my movements (even simply putting away the laundry), I have found that my sleep is more restful and more restorative than if I don’t make sure to move each day.
If you are consistent with simple movements, you will gradually build up to longer times. I’m not suggesting a marathon, just a minute more of stretching or a minute more of dusting.
Less anxiety and depression/better mood
Getting up and moving, taking simple steps gets those endorphins flowing making it easier to manage the more emotional side of living with PsA that plague many of us. A short walk (even just around the house) can help clear your head and lift your spirits.
Some simple tips
Now, I’ll be honest, as a whole I’m not a big fan of health gadgets. They always end up being “one more thing” that I am responsible for. Keeping track of it, keeping it charged, and simply remembering to use it let alone how to use it. However, those little ones that you wear on your wrist are pretty handy.
Technically I have a FitBit, but they make a million and one different ones that all do the same thing. Nothing fancy, just the simple reminder to make those joints move throughout the day I have found to be really helpful.
Another thing that I’ll do, especially on days when I feel like all I can do is couch surf all day, is only get up during commercials. I will intentionally choose to watch shows that contain commercials (sorry Netflix, you are out of luck today!) then do simple stretches or unload the dishwasher, but only when commercials are on. That way, I remember to move, accomplish simple tasks, and still feel like I’m getting the rest my body needs on those days.
If you work, think about your work environment, is there something you can do to add more simple movements or stretching to your day?
Alright folks, it’s time to get moving. Lube up those joints with simple stretches and short, small tasks to keep that blood flowing and help you feel a little less like the tin man from The Wizard of Oz.
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