Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
stiff robot having oil poured on joints

Staying Active With AS

As I’m sure most of us know, movement is what helps us the most. If we don’t move, our joints stiffen up, pain sets in, and it’s all in all not great. I’ve seen people liken us to The Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. Movement gives us the oil to loosen up our joints, and overall feel better. Otherwise, we kind of feel like The Tin Man, or like we’re doing the robot 24/7.

Walking and physiotherapy

When my symptoms first showed up, I couldn’t really move. I was bedridden for a few months, only getting out of bed to go to the bathroom and to doctors’ appointments.

About a full month into being bedridden, my doctor suggested I start doing physiotherapy. It helped me tremendously. My pelvis at the time was extremely weak, and my therapist helped me to get it strong enough to not have to walk with such an intense limp. Physiotherapy was my gateway to more exercise while still being in pain.

I started walking. I would go for walks almost every day with my dad. Some days just around the block, sometimes further. The walks helped me so much. I started to realize that movement was a big factor is controlling the pain, so I tried to do it as often as possible.

Yoga has been my savior

In May of 2018, I discovered at-home yoga. I found a channel on YouTube, and I started just with beginner videos. Before I had AS, I used to work out all the time. I would do 60-day challenges, I loved to get my stress out by working out. It broke my heart when I realized I couldn’t do that anymore.

Yoga is kind of my middle ground between doing hard workouts and stretches. Some days, if I feel more energetic, I’ll push myself. Other days if I’m more tired, I’ll go easy. It’s great for both my self-confidence and my pain levels. Yoga also adds mindfulness and awareness to your life, and that has helped me through so much as well. I would recommend it to everyone!

I would definitely suggest taking it easy at first, get your body used to doing stretches, and work your way up from there if you want to. There are even beginner classes out there at community centers and gyms!

Sometimes we can’t exercise

If you suffer from chronic fatigue as well, trust me I know some days it’s impossible to do any exercise. I’m currently in a bout of fatigue. Take it easy on yourself, rest up, and try small stretches or exercises when you feel ready. Even walking around the house a few times is better than nothing.

Overdoing it won’t benefit you, it’ll just tire you out more and prolong your period of inactivity, so don’t do it if you know that you can’t. You’re the only one who knows your body best! So listen to it, care for it, and only do what you feel you can do.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AnkylosingSpondylitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Auldyn Matthews-McGee moderator
    1 week ago

    So great to read this! Keegan has had very similar experiences to yours. Especially when he was bedridden and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on.

    If you don’t mind me asking, which YouTube channel do you follow for yoga? We’ve found Yoga with Adrien to be a bit better for Keegan.

    -Auldyn

  • Steff Di Pardo moderator author
    1 week ago

    Hey Auldyn! It is Yoga with Adriene! Isn’t she amazing?!

  • Lisa Marie Basile moderator
    1 week ago

    Oh, I just discovered her after reading this. LOVE.

  • Auldyn Matthews-McGee moderator
    1 week ago

    She’s such a joy! I’m glad to see someone who is so calm and goofy doing yoga. She’s much more what I need as well. 😛

  • Lisa Marie Basile moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you for this. I find that I am *able* to work out mayb 5x a week, but then I must use my rest days…to rest. I do a lot of aqua workouts, tai chi, yoga, and dance. The gym is good if I’m not going wild. I have learned that movement is medicine (for me). But must be balanced!

  • Steff Di Pardo moderator author
    1 week ago

    Oh wow, good for you! I’m so glad you have all of those workouts to do! Definitely good to find a variety!

  • Lisa Marie Basile moderator
    1 week ago

    It is really great, yes! I am glad you and I can do this and have the things that work for us. I wish that everyone had the mobility and ability and access. It makes a massive difference physically and mental health wise. 🙂

  • Edith Lalonde
    2 weeks ago

    Great article. Yoga has helped me through some tough pain days as well as aiding with mindfulness. Glad you found your niche.

  • Lawrence "Rick" Phillips moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Bicycling is my savior. I love riding my bicycle. For me bicycling is fresh air, warmth (when its summer) and it makes me incredibility happy.

    Maybe someday I will try yoga. (Naw, likely not).

  • Lisa Marie Basile moderator
    1 week ago

    That’s so nice! So are your knees or hips ever sore after biking? It really is the loveliest, and that fresh air in the summer is SO magical.

  • Lawrence "Rick" Phillips moderator
    6 days ago

    I have more issues with my back. I love riding and will go between 7 and 10 miles most days. So not a fast or long rider usually. I try to do two longer rides each summer, the Indianapolis night ride on the Saturday after June 21, it goes off at 11:00 PM and will usually go for 18-22 miles. I love that one.

    And

    I like doing the 25 – 30 mile tour de cure in Indiana. Both are big highlights of the summer for me. After that, I mostly try to do the 7-10 miles daily. Last year I was able to do 700 miles and that was a lot, I usually get around 500 miles.

    Anyway, my issue is more about my back than legs and hips. darn my back can hurt sometimes.

  • Poll