#595 – Walk with Weights

Picture of Bees walking over a honeycomb
Do your bones look like honeycomb? Image by PollyDot from Pixabay

When you choose to walk with weights, you are one step closer to mitigating one of the pitfalls of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The "Silent Disease"

Osteoporosis, a thinning of the bones, is prevalent in people with RA. Causes of osteoporosis include:

  • Medication, such as glucocorticoids.
  • Inactivity. For people with RA, they may be discouraged to move because movement causes pain.
  • The "hungry" nature of the disease itself.
  • Being female. Even without RA, women are more susceptible to osteoporosis.

Walk with Weights

If you have osteoporotic bones that are close to resembling honeycomb (holes caused by bone loss), a weight-bearing exercise program is recommended. Consult with your healthcare professionals for advice for your particular situation.

I'm a big believer in sneaking in exercise whenever and wherever I can, such as adding weights to my walk.

I have a confession, though. When it comes to strength-training, I have dropped the ball, er weights. Simply put, I need to do more.

Since I'm a regular walker, I can add weight to my walk. Doesn't it seem ironic that when you have pounds to lose, those extra pounds don't count towards strength training?

Weighty Advice

Start with 1-pound weights, either on your wrists or around your ankles, then work your way up. Take it from me, it's no fun trudging home if you're tired out from bearing heavier weights.

I have bought or been gifted several different types of wrist weights and this is what I discovered:

Image of 1 pound weights that you velcro around your wrists.

When I use these weights, I have trouble tightening them enough so that they don't slide up and down my arm when I walk. However, I have used them when I swim front crawl.

One pound weights that you have to hold.

I don't like that I have to hold on to these weights when I walk. The last thing I need to be doing with my arthritic hands is to clench them more. These are certainly the opposite of "hands-free!"

I have 1 pound doughnut-shaped weights around my wrists.

These doughnut-shaped weights may be fine for someone without arthritic fingers. Getting them on and off is a workout in itself! I would often ask for help, however, I prefer to be more self-reliant.

These 1 pound weights close around your wrists with velcro and have a hole for your thumb to slide into.I love these weights. They're easy to put on. The thumb holes keep the weights in place and prevent them from sliding up and down my wrists.

To Recap

  1. Start with 1 pound weights, then work your way up incrementally.
  2. If possible, look for wrist weights with thumb holes.
  3. Pump your arms to get the most out of your weighted walk.
  4. Shift your perception/language. I have to do this to I want to do this. Add your "why."
  5. Check with your healthcare professionals before beginning any exercise program.

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