Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just So I Don't Drown

My husband's company subsidizes a gym membership at $15 a month, and though they have a pool, there are no pool classes offered. I definitely couldn't keep up with most water aerobics classes, which were extremely difficult for me even 3 years ago; I had to quit because I was never out of extreme pain. And a lot of the senior water classes would be too difficult for me, while PACE arthritis classes are too easy for me. Through the Spondylitis Foundation, I found out about the Arthritis Foundation, which does offer water classes for arthritis patients throughout the nation. And links back to our friends from many areas of our life, who teach Tai Chi classes across the area, including for the Arthritis Foundation. They're able to recommend classes/exercises that will work best for me. Once the weather cools off, I'll have to go to an indoor pool, and I wouldn't mind going to a class at least some. My body craves exercises but it hurts to do it so much that often I can't continue other than isometrics sitting down. And yes, I've considered Tai Chi, too, but maybe not when I hurt so much so that I can do some of it standing. I'd get more out of water exercise right now.

I can't tell much difference with the wheat free diet this time around, though I think it improves my health overall. Some people say completely starch free for spondylitis, and even dairy free too, but eliminating all starches (corn, spelt, rice, potatoes or sweet potatoes) is tricky to do without crashing your system. I have found that too much tomato does aggravate everything.


yanub said...

No spelt! Spelt is a wheat relative. It is generally less allergenic than wheat, but isn't completely safe. If you are eating spelt, or non-certified oats (there's a lot of wheat contamination of most oat products), you won't get the full benefit of a wheat-free diet.

Enjoy your time in the pool!

FridaWrites said...

No worries, no spelt for me. Quinoa or its relatives, maybe?

yanub said...

Quinoa and amaranth are both good choices. People who have never had it always ask for more when I make a quinoa pilaf. And both are more nutritious than wheat, corn or rice. Oh, buckwheat is another good non-grain. It's actually seed from a plant related to rhubarb. And it is fairly easy to find and inexpensive, which is a plus.

D Phoenix said...

Does your local Arthritis Centre have a pool? The one here is extra warm, so exercising is easier on your muscles/joints. It sounds like a class there might be paced well for you.

Wow, no starches. Tough. I've heard of not eating wheat etc. so that one avoids gluten, but I didn't know some folks avoid all starches. There are so many variations on avoidance diets it's mind-boggling. Some people avoid tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and all other nightshades. I haven't achieved any major change by avoiding certain food groups, though I do feel better in my guts if I stick with stuff that is low in fat and make sure I eat my complex carbs. I really don't eat much junk and try to eat organic (when I can afford to). I don't think I have the willpower to do any rigid diet right now, but more power to you!!!

Amaranth is also quite good. Quinoa is a superfood, what with all its amino acids and all. Just make sure to rinse it well in a sifter before cooking or the bitter bits will wreck the taste.

FridaWrites said...

Thanks, guys, for the suggestions. It would be good to try different grains. If I do my meal planning in advance, it's a lot easier. Do you have spondylitis/arthritis issues too, Donimo? Research on this seems to be mixed--some people swear by going starch free while others say it doesn't help, so there may be different groups of people sensitive to different things. I too feel a lot better overall when I don't eat wheat.

We don't have an arthritis center per se, just a foundation that coordinates everything. I can take classes at a number of places, though most of the pools are not warm water. The Tai Chi guy specifically recommended that I use very warm water so I don't cause myself a lot of muscle and ligament pain afterwards.

My couch is hurting my joints because of the pain flare. I wish anything was comfortable at all (sitting, standing and moving for ten minutes, lying down). I try to alternate.

yanub said...

Donimo, a lot of people avoid starches completely. Most of the ones I know about are eating low-carbohydrate diets, either ketogenic or modified Atkins, in order to mitigate neurological problems. Why carbs contribute to some forms of epilepsy and migraines and apparently even some brain tumors is something that is being studied. Until then, people go on the diet and hope for the best.

Frida, you do have a shower bench, yes? Will a warm shower help? Sometimes it does for me, at least for while the water is hitting my joints.

Oh, will that gym have a whirlpool? I've been thinking of rejoining the ladies' gym near where I work just to take advantage of the whirlpool. I know it doesn't help everyone, but I sure love it. I put my feet near the jets and let the water massage the poor puppies. Of course, as soon as I stand on them, they are hurting again, but I'll take what I can get. Mmmm. The more I think about it, the more it seems like I ought to do it, even though it means not getting home until late. Maybe I could be good and actually leave to work early and get my relaxing in before the day begins. Oh, who am I kidding? Not even the promise of a whirlpool will induce me to get on my feet any earlier than I have to.

SharonMV said...

Hi fridawrites,

It's me, SharonMV. I just wanted to let you know that I did see the comment you left the other day on elizabeth's blog. About my flower sticker & me not finishing my PhD> I left a response, but as you may not see it there, I decided to pop over here & thank you.

I may have some kind of spondylitis type arthritis too, on top of the Lupus. Have had a lot of problems which my rheumy considers "not Lupus-y". Which means he doesn't do anything much to treat them. So I have an appointment with another rheumy at a nearby university. Hope he'll be able to sort things out.

I'm going to read a bit more of your blog now.


FridaWrites said...

Yanub, Oh, I have heard of the ketogenic diet for epilepsy but had forgotten. I don't know how people do it for that long! I guess people learn how to get the necessary nutrients from other food sources.

Warm showers are my best friend, though I couldn't get in today until 1:00 (unusually for me)--those microwaveable gel heating pads are also great. We have a built in shower bench, which is really great. We should have had the whirlpool installed when we had the house built but thought, eh...we do have the big tub though. No whirlpool at this gym, but a very warm water pool and lots of quiet, which I like.

Hi, Sharon, welcome to my blog and thanks for directing me back over to Elizabeth's--I did forget to look again. Also see my message today about the stamps. I'm at exactly the same place you were, wondering if I can make it through. Que sera sera. When I say I feel your pain here, I mean it! :)