How Do You Get Healthy with Lupus?

When you get lupus, the last thing on your mind may be strenuous exercise. You’re tired, your joints ache and overall your body feels worn out. When you get lupus, you lose the energy you once had and you just want to rest. But research shows that people who get lupus that exercise frequently avoid fatigue and pain more often than those that don’t exercise. Exercising builds stronger muscles, increases your cardiovascular capability. When you have a stronger body through exercising, your daily activities don’t feel like such a strain.

Here are four ways you can improve your health when you get lupus .

1. Exercise Makes You Stronger

Focus on low-impact exercising. These types of exercise don’t require your joints to strain and improve muscle strength, decrease muscle stiffness and increase your range of motion. The American College of Rheumatology recommends four different types of exercises when you get lupus:

  • Flexibility Exercises. These exercises reduce stiffness and make you more limber and includes stretching and range-of-motion exercises such as jumping jacks and lunges.
  • Strengthening Exercises. These exercises work the muscles more vigorously to build strength and creates better joint support. Resistance training and weight lifting will help you improve this area.
  • Aerobic Exercises.  These types of exercises improve heart and lung condition and use the body’s larger muscles to improve blood flow and lung capacity. Examples of aerobic exercises are dancing, cycling and water aerobics.
  • Body Awareness Exercises. Exercises such as Pilates, tai chi and yoga improve your posture, coordination and balance. All very important to people who are managing lupus.

2. Improve Your Mental Health

Exercise isn’t just for the body. When you get lupus, there is a strong chance that you will feel more stress and even depression than normal. In fact, studies show that about 60% of people with chronic illness also experience clinical depression. The vigorous activity of exercise can be a way to relieve stress, tension and anxiety in your life. Turning your frustrations into positive energy through exercise is not only good for your body, but it helps you clear your mind. A 2008 study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that just 20 minutes of physical activity a week can boost mental health!

3. Reduce Fatigue

When you get lupus, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms. Up to 80% of patients say they feel sluggish, tired and just plain worn out. “So why is exercise the answer if I’m always tired?” you may say. That is because over time, a routine of exercise will increase your overall energy level, giving you more energy to do things during your regular day, when you’re not exercising.

4. Prevent Medication Side Effects

Some medications prescribed when you get lupus may cause you to gain weight, increase blood pressure, cholesterol and even blood sugar. Steroids increase your appetite. A simple routine of regular exercise can help you counteract the effects of your medications.

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