The Importance of a Workout Buddy
Last updated: January 2019
Prior to being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, I worked out stress free. While I enjoyed having company while exercising, I didn’t NEED to have someone there. Since my diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis I have learned the importance of having a workout buddy.
I experience some sort of physical pain all the time and the last thing I wanted to do was increase my pain level. Exercise felt like torture. Even though I knew that movement would eventually help, I struggled to commit to an exercise program and if I did begin one I would quickly give up. Having a workout buddy motivates me. I am competitive; just ask my family members who refuse to play board games with me if you don’t believe me. While my competitiveness isn’t always a good thing, in this case it is. I compete to keep up with my workout buddies. I am realistic and understand that I may never be able to keep up with them; I listen to my body and stop when it says to. But my competitiveness is why I take precautions so that the odds of my not being able to exercise during our scheduled times are reduced.
Having workout buddies keeps me accountable. All of my excuses are worthless unless I am experiencing a severe flare. Since we workout at my house, my buddies will know if I am really unable to work out.
I have terrible balance. I can be standing still with my feet parallel with my shoulders and fall over. Without warning, muscles will spasm or seize up making it impossible to stand or sit up. One reason I often gave up when exercising by myself is that I feared injuring myself. Having workout buddies eliminates that stress. Yes, I could still injure myself, but knowing that there are people who care about me by my side I no longer worry about being found lying on the floor or waiting for someone to come help me. If needed my workout buddies can help me get to a chair/bed or call 911/take me to the ER.
Working out with friends and family makes exercising less like torture and more like happy hour. While we exercise we chat about our lives, our families, current events, and share memories. We also sing along with our favorite songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The best part is that my buddies and I get to spend time together doing something that is good for our bodies.
Has PsA changed how you think about sex and intimacy?
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