There are many science-backed benefits into the positive power of dance for autoimmune disease: improved mobility, reduced pain, reduced anxiety and depression, improved body image, and better quality of life. That said, if you’re living with chronic illness and chronic pain, dance poses challenges. If your body has changed with autoimmune disease, can you still dance? On hard days, can dancing make your day better? The eight people featured in this article answer a resounding yes to both of those questions. They each share what dancing means to them, and how they adapt dance around their autoimmune symptoms. They also share videos showing their joy in dancing.
With autoimmune disease, the right exercise has the potential to improve our health, but the wrong exercise can cause an autoimmune flare. How do we find joy in movement again?
When it comes to MS, muscle weakness isn’t the cause of weak muscles or difficulty walking. The cause is weakness in the neural pathways from demyelination. The MSing Link is an online exercise program created by Dr. Gretchen Hawley, a Doctor of Physical Therapy and MS Certified Specialist. Every exercise in her program is designed to strengthen your muscles AND your neural pathways at the same time. In this article, Dr. Gretchen shares three sample exercises that you can try today!
Dr. Emily Kiberd is a chiropractor with Hashimoto’s who created a strength training program for her fellow Hashi warriors. Joint pain, extreme fatigue, and weight gain are common symptoms, which can make exercise challenging. Many people choose gentle forms of exercise that don’t strain the body further, but this can lead to a loss of muscle mass. Muscle is the body’s metabolic engine. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Muscle is also the largest endocrine organ in the body, so contracting muscle tissue has been shown to help with the turnover of thyroid hormones. This is why Dr. Kiberd created Thyroid Strong, a special exercise program designed to help women with Hashimoto’s safely regain strength, boost their energy, and alleviate pain at the same time.
DNS stands for Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization. It’s a fascinating form of exercise that uses positions and movements associated with infant development to help people heal from a variety of physical issues. With autoimmune disease, it can be hard to find forms of exercise that support our body’s changing needs. DNS can be modified for everyone. This article is written by Maggie Rintala, a fellow autoimmune warrior and certified personal trainer who specializes in DNS. She demonstrates three sample exercises, along with resources for learning more.
This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! Why does exercise feel so different after an autoimmune diagnosis? Activities that our bodies loved in the past can now cause an autoimmune flare. Yet, not moving at all isn’t healthy either. So, what do we do? In this podcast, we get professional insight into this topic. My guest, Andrea Wool, is a fellow autoimmune warrior, certified personal trainer, and founder of Autoimmune Strong – a fitness website designed specifically for people with autoimmune disease. She’ll be sharing her personal story, as well as scientific insight into the unique challenges and benefits of exercise for people with autoimmune disease.
Before autoimmune disease, did you have a yoga practice that you loved but can no longer do? Do you struggle to find a way to adapt your practice to your ever-changing autoimmune body? Do you miss yoga and want to make it part of your life again? Or maybe you have never practiced yoga, but would love to try and don’t know where to begin. This podcast is for you! My guest is Jivana Heyman, founder and director of the Accessible Yoga Association and co-founder of the Accessible Yoga Training School. He has over 25 years of experience teaching yoga to people of diverse abilities. In this episode, we’re going to troubleshoot a wide variety of autoimmune symptoms and talk about how to develop a personalized yoga practice.
There are health benefits to play and health benefits to exercise, and there’s a special power in the combination. Children know this naturally, but adults rarely combine the two. How can we incorporate more playful movement into our lives? With autoimmune disease, a playful spirit can be hard to find sometimes, and when we’re in pain, movement may feel impossible. Yet play and movement are still available even in those moments, and may potentially reduce our pain and autoimmune symptoms. My guest is Darryl Edwards, founder of the Primal Play method.
We talk a lot about nutrient density and diversity on this podcast. Every food has a unique nutrient profile, and when we get in food ruts and eat the same thing every day, our nutrition suffers. The same thing happens with movement. Modern life limits the way we move our bodies, but then chronic illness can limit it even more. This creates a vicious cycle. How do we break free and expand our ability to move, enhancing our health at the same time? My guest is Katy Bowman, a biomechanist, teacher, speaker, and author. She’s written 8 books, including the bestselling Move Your DNA, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
This is one of the most popular podcast episodes! The right exercise has the potential to improve our health, but the wrong exercise can cause an autoimmune flare. Our needs will often change from month to month, maybe even from day to day. In this podcast, I share my own experience of how my exercise needs have changed since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I also interview 3 other people about their exercise experiences as well. One guest has multiple sclerosis, one has Crohn’s disease, and the other has Hashimoto’s.