“Oh, no. Not this again.”
I can hear you sighing so deeply that the curtains fluttered when you saw the title of this July Month Ahead. Because yes, we are talking about staying active with chronic illness. We know that it can seem intimidating when you’re already overwhelmed by everything chronic illness throws at you, but the reality is that staying as active as possible within your limits can help you have a better life. This is why we are committed to sharing information about how different levels of activity can help you get stronger and stay mobile. There’s no pressure here on RAHealthCentral, just support to help each other get better.
To help us do that, I am thrilled to introduce two new members of the RAHealthCentral team. First, Cathy Kramer is an active part of the online rheumatoid arthritis (RA) community, blogging about life with the condition, participating in patient engagement programs, and teaching English as a second language to adults. You can watch Cathy‘s story here on HealthCentral.
You first met our second new writer Emil deAndreis in my interview with him when his memoir was published. Emil’s career as a pro baseball player was derailed by RA, but that hasn’t stopped him. In addition to writing books, he coaches baseball and teaches English in San Francisco.
As mentioned above, we’re diving into the topic of staying active this month and approaching it from a number of different angles. You might be surprised to learn that we will spend a fair amount of time talking about the mental aspect of exercising with chronic illness. Cathy will take a look at how to change your perspective to avoid flaring as a result of exercising. Emil will explore how mental fitness can improve your quality of life. Both he and Marianna will share tips on how to stay active in a way that doesn’t involve a lot of extra stress, equipment, or going to the gym.
Paying attention to the mental part of living with chronic illness is important — how you cope determines, in many ways, how you live with the condition. Many people in the community turn to pets to help them through life with chronic illness, and Cathy will share the lessons that having a dog has given her. Meditation can also be a valuable to reduce stress and help you cope, and I’ll look into that. We have a few more surprises up our sleeves and look forward to sharing our thoughts and articles with you this month.
How do you stay active? What’s the most difficult part of keeping moving for you? Hop on over to the RAHealthCentral Facebook page to participate in our active and supportive community.
Lene Andersen is the Community Leader for HealthCentral’s RA Community. Lene (pronounced Lena) is an award-winning writer, health and disability advocate, and photographer living in Toronto. She’s written several books, including Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain, and 7 Facets: A Meditation on Pain, as well as the award-winning blog, The Seated View. Follow Lene on Twitter @TheSeatedView and on Facebook. Watch her story on HealthCentral.