Posted by: ugleepen | November 3, 2011

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dancing

I came across a wonderful exercise idea for people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on the web site Irish Health.

An article written by Deborah Condon describes an innovative program to motivate people with RA to exercise – ballroom dancing! The arthritis charity, Arthritis Ireland, has initiated “Let’s Dance” – to encourage people with all types of arthritis to get out and move.

As we all know, exercise is a key to managing RA, as well as the other kinds of arthritis, because exercising increases flexibility and strength in the body, as well as increasing energy levels. And although this might seem a little backwards, exercise does relieve pain.

Here in my blog I’ve discussed various types of exercise programs for people diagnosed with arthritis, including Arthritis Exercises and Tai Chi for Arthritis. And I’m excited about adding the idea of ballroom dancing to the list.

“Ballroom dancing can be a great option for people living with RA as it combines fun with exercise and is something that can be done with your partner,” a spokesperson for Arthritis Ireland explained.

Rheumatologist Dr. Geraldine McCarthy noted in the article that RA is a chronic condition that tends to get worse over time. “The earlier you are diagnosed, the better the long-term outcome due to the treatment options available,” said McCarthy. “Exercise alongside your treatment regime is a really important aspect of the overall management of the disease, as it helps to maintain flexibility in the joints but also relieves pain.”

“Dance is a great way to introduce exercise back to your life so I commend Arthritis Ireland for running this campaign,” Dr McCarthy said.

According to Condon, one of Ireland’s top dancing stars, Claire King, has lived with RA for several years.

“I know the impact that it can have on your overall quality of life,” said King. “The pain caused by the condition often makes you want to avoid exercise, but I have found that over the long-term, exercise is critical in helping to relieve the pain and improve flexibility and strength in your body.”

“I would recommend anyone living with RA to consider getting involved in the ‘Let’s Dance’ classes,” King said.

During the launch ceremony for “Let’s Dance,” Arthritis Ireland CEO, John Church, described Ms King as a “great example of someone who has continued to live a full and successful life despite her condition.”

And let this be a lesson to all of us. No matter what our debilities and challenges, there is always a way to live as fulfilling a life as possible. My ergonomic pen was scientifically-designed for just this reason. The UGLee Pen helps eliminate one of the frustrating and painful activities of daily living – handwriting. Whether it’s a grocery list, a letter, or simply your signature on a credit card slip, being able to write in a comfortable and relaxing manner can help you feel confident about managing other aspects of your life, too. And remember to dance!


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