Right Moves for Lupus
Right Moves for Lupus Exercise Video
VHS: $5.00 DVD: $15.00
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An Exercise Program Designed for People with Lupus…Wasn’t It About Time?
Kickboxing…pilates…power yoga. As interest in fitness and exercise continues to grow, individuals with chronic illnesses like lupus tend to feel left behind. Often sidelined from regular exercise, finding a regimen that does not exacerbate symptoms can be very difficult for patients with SLE. “The profound fatigue, severe joint problems and medication-induced loss of bone and muscle mass often associated with lupus can make typical exercise programs challenging and potentially dangerous for patients,” says Charlotte rheumatologist Dr. Robert J. Kipnis.
With the help of grants from the Mecklenburg County Medical Society’s Smith Arthritis Fund and Roche Pharmaceuticals, the North Carolina Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America recently developed the first exercise video tailored specifically to meet your unique needs as an individual with lupus. The Right Moves for Lupus is designed to ease you into a gentle, low impact exercise regimen that will help you achieve better health, mobility and independence without causing your symptoms to flare.
Dr. Kipnis, who served as medical advisor to the project, points out that regular exercise is particularly important to lupus patients because both the illness and medications used to treat it can cause muscle and joint weakness. “Treatment with corticosteroids and leading a more sedentary lifestyle make lupus patients more susceptible to osteoporosis, so weight bearing exercise of some kind is crucial to maintaining bone density and muscle mass,” he notes. In addition, studies have shown that the chronic fatigue suffered by many lupus patients can be exacerbated by the de-conditioning lifestyle they are often forced to adopt. One study demonstrates that regular, gentle exercise can help combat this fatigue. 1
The chapter was able to assemble a dynamic team of volunteer professionals to help them develop an exercise routine that takes into account the unique needs of people with lupus: Dr. Robert Kipnis, lupus patient and certified exercise instructor Sonia Little, and licensed physical therapist JoDee Pryce and co-creators/patients, Penny Wolf and Janice Luckey. “From the outset we knew we needed to develop a routine that would get away from the exercise concept of pushing yourself to the limits of your physical capabilities,” says therapist Pryce. “The ‘no pain-no gain’ model is definitely the wrong approach for someone with lupus.”
In addition to concerns about aerobic de-conditioning, some of the unique factors taken into account in developing the program were balance difficulties, fatigue, joint pain and inflammation, cognitive dysfunction and coordination problems. The team worked for more than a year developing the routine, piloting it with patient groups and modifying it in response to patient input, before video production was completed in April of this year. The result is a 26-minute fitness video that guides patients from warm-up through gentle stretching, four minutes of low impact aerobics, weight-free toning and a final cool down.