Exercise is the single most important thing you can do to help yourself. The fitter and more flexible you are, the easier it will be to deal with your stiffness and pain.
To successfully manage your ankylosing spondylitis it’s not enough to rely on medication, you do have to exercise. Pain, stiffness and fatigue can make it difficult to stay motivated, that’s why it’s so important to find a kind of exercise that you really enjoy.
Why exercising is so important?
Physical activity can increase your flexibility, this will help you in everyday tasks from putting on your shoes to dusting that nasty shelf nobody at home ever touches. Getting more flexible leads to an increased range of movement. You need that not only in a gym and for your daily activities, but most importantly on a dance floor when you want to show off all your funky moves.
Exercising is crucial in managing your AS symptoms.
Ankylosing spondylitis can cause you to lose your upright posture and leave it stuck in a bent position. It’s important to pay special attention to your posture, exercises can improve it when done properly. Better posture will also make you feel better about your body image and give you a confidence boost.
Being active is physically tiring. This can improve your sleep quality and ensure you’ll wake up feeling fresher.
Exercises will also help reduce the stiffness and pain, improving your overall life quality and well being.
Last but not least, during physical activity your body releases chemicals called endorphins. They interact with your brain reducing your perception of pain. They also trigger a positive feeling in the body, that can be described as “euphoric”, improving your mood.
You need to be consistent, so do something that’s really fun!
Just keep in mind it can’t be a one off, you need to exercise regularly, consistently and over a long period of time (make it ‘forever’ for the best effects). Try to choose something that you enjoy, Whether it’s swimming or yoga, try to keep it interesting and engaging. Have a look at our list of top 10 exercisies for ankylosing spondylitis for inspiration!