Working Out

Can be hard to do when you have chronic pain. Especially at the beginning. Though in general, I’m more of an outdoorsy let’s go kayaking or hiking kind of gal (not that these are easy on the body at all), Canadian winters don’t provide great opportunities to do these things for about half the year. So, following the advice of my chiropractor, and much to the happiness of my rheumatologist when I told her, I joined my local gym.

IMG_0648this is about the only sport us Canadian can do in the winter (other than hockey and skiing)

Now, let’s be real. I didn’t just join and go all ham. I know I can’t, and to be honest I was hesitant at first because I didn’t want to hurt myself. So I paid extra for a personal trainer. The risk of this, of course, is whether or not they will know and understand your medical condition, and what your capabilities are. When I signed up, I told the girl helping me with registration why I wanted a personal trainer, which is basically medical reasons. Working out, and strengthening your body can help reduce pain, as long as it’s done within your limits. Lucky for me, I was paired up with an awesome personal trainer who happened to work with a client (male) with lupus a few years earlier. He understood the basic concepts of the disease, and how hard a flare can be. His first piece of advice, do not work out when you’re having a flare.

IMG_0377Shh. We’re not supposed to take pics at our gym, but I snuck a couple.

We set up 2 different routines for me, focused on strength building. I also do between 10-30 minutes of cardio each workout, the length and intensity depends on how I’m feeling.
Day 1: Goblet Squats (15 weight x 15 reps x 3 sets), Seated Rows (20 x 15 x 3), Dumbell Chest Press (7.5 x 15 x 3), Dumbell Curls (5 x 15 x 3), Lateral Raises (5 x 15 x 3), and Planks (1 minute x 3 sets).
Day 2: Lunges (12 reps x 3 sets), Onearm Dumbell Row (10 x 12 x 3), Rear Delt Dumbell Fly (3 x 15 x 3), Tricep Extensions (10 x 12 x 3), Push Ups (9 x 3 – though I’ve since increased it to 11 x 3), and Side Planks (45 seconds x 3)
Everything is light weights, high reps, because I’m not trying to bulk up, just be strong.

IMG_0381Planks are hard.

After 4 sessions with the personal trainer, and now 3 months on my own, I do feel stronger. And I usually can work out 3-5 times per week… though some weeks, like this one, I’ve only gone once. Again, I don’t push myself past what I am capable of doing. I want less pain, not more. To my great relief, working out does seem to be one of the factors that has reduced my pain recently. (That and CBD oil, but we’ll get to that another time). I know it can be tough, but taking baby steps, within your limits is something we can all do to help ourselves feel like warriors.

An Untitled Recap

I couldn’t decide on what my blog topic should be this week, since I have a million ideas floating around in my head, most of them also written on a sticky note on my computer. I’m also a few weeks overdue for a post, so my apologies. I’ve decided then rather pick a specific topic this week, I’m just going to share the last few weeks of my life with everyone.

cartoon-food-with-vitamin-b12-infographics-vector-13237232Image from:

I had been struggling with severe nerve pain in my left leg for weeks. I have no idea what brought it on but I assume something lupus-related but who knows?! The pain was quite intense most of the time, and I had to call in sick to work twice for it. I had a massage (full body) asking my RMT to focus on that nerve pain, since using the thumper at home seemed to help temporarily. However, it was going to my naturopath that delivered amazing relief. My ND suggested that a shot of B12 might help since it’s something she gives to her patients with sciatica and gives them relief. I was a little skeptical but decided to give it a go. She gave me the shot in my left hip. The rest of the day went on the way all the days leading up to it had…

And then, the next morning I had no nerve pain. Poof! Totally gone. And now, 2 weeks after that shot, it still has not returned. I think I might be sold on this B12 stuff.

du6RZiK8T+C+8TiJeFwGoldmine Trail, near Superior, AZ

Two days after having the B12 shot, I left on an airplane for Phoenix, AZ with my friend, to stay with my parents for a week (they are snowbirds). Even though it was unseasonably cool down south, it was still a lot warmer than home, and I always find that the warm air and pretty much constant sunshine make me feel good. Additionally, having a hot tub to soak in every night, and a chance to do some epic, scenic hikes, definitely has a positive effect on my body. Guess I already have to start planning my next adventure to a warmer climate because anything that makes my body feel better gets a ton of points in my book.

uHnsw3NRRwW%taSBp2jb%AAfter hot tub cool off in Florence, AZ