Is Exercise Good for Lupus?

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What is lupus? Lupus is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the painful swelling of the joints in the shoulder, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, hand and feet. Lupus flare that can be moderate to severe pain in the joint areas c difficult to move the body to do simple chores . So is exercise good for lupus patients? The answer is absolutely yes!

If you are diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), keeping yourself physically fit is the best way to manage your disease. It is imperative that you keep your muscles toned and your joints active. Remember that the muscle size and blood circulation on their system functions. If you have stopped moving, then your muscles shrink and blood cannot circulate properly to deliver oxygen to your arms and legs. Your bone strength also is dependent on the tendons and bone density. Lupus patients will notice that their ability to move their legs and hands have lessened if they do not keep themselves active. So exercise is very good for lupus.

There are many ways that exercise can help manage lupus.

  • Reduces fatigue.  Fatigue or sluggishness is a major symptom of lupus. Studies have shown that when lupus patients did aerobic exercises, their level of fatigue was reduced and they were noticeably active all throughout the day.
  • Prevents cardiovascular disease. People with lupus are at high risk of developing heart disorders. Aerobic exercises such as walking or biking can reduce the risk of heart attack in lupus patients.
  • Prevents obesity. Exercise reduces the level of pain exerted on swollen joints. It can lower the chances of developing obesity and other disorders related to over-weight.
  • Lowers risk of osteoporosis in women. Lupus can result to osteoporosis in women and exercise is the best thing to do to prevent loss of bone density in women especially in menopausal stage. Weight-bearing exercise can prevent osteoporosis.
  • Improves sleep. Lupus can be terribly painful and can disturb sleep adding to fatigue and stress. When one exercises, he will have better night sleep which in the long run can improve his general health.
  • Creates better quality of life. Lupus patients can succumb to anxiety and depression which can affect the entire family life. Exercising reduces stress and anxiety which promotes better interpersonal relations as well as build up self-confidence.

However, the kind of exercise that is good for a lupus patient will depend on doctor’s recommendation. Aerobic exercises are usually approved by the doctor; isometric exercises, on the other hand must be taken with caution because it might trigger lupus flares when muscles are directly exposed to tension.