Exercise FAQs

The “get moving” calendar says “stretch video #1” but i can’t find that video-where is it?

The stretch video is the first video under workouts. It says “The Foam Roller” in blue and you’ll see above that in grey it says “stretching routine #1”

I’m sore from starting the program-is this normal?

In short, yes! This is normal. If you have not exercised much in the past your body is starting to “wake up” to movement. Your body is communicating with you-which is a good thing! You are likely to feel stiff and sore the most in spots that you are weakest. Feeling sore and stiff as an after-effect of exercise is called DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)--and it’s not a bad thing! This means the work you are doing is effective. If you are just starting out and have not exercised muc in the past we don’t know yet where your threshold is for exercise intolerance. When you start to feel sore I suggest backing off a bit to give your body time to adapt. Take a day off and maybe alternate one day on, one day off, until the soreness starts to disappear.

How much should I do? Can I combine Autoimmune Strong with other activity?

The answer to this is not straightforward as we are all in different places of our fitness journey. Some people can handle abdominal bracing, foam rolling, a workout video and a walk all in the same day. Others may not be able to ab brace and foam roll in the same day without being sent into a flare. Our general rule is to think about what you think you can handle then start with ¼ of that and build slowly. Be sure to incorporate all areas of activity and stress when you think about how much you can handle. Have you gotten enough sleep lately? Do you have household chores that will take up energy? Be sure to think of all activities not just “exercise” when you think about how much your body can safely handle. See more in this video about finding the right amount of exercise

I’m in pain or a feel a flare coming on-what should I do about sticking with the program?

Our first reaction when feeling a flare is to stop everything because,well, everything hurts! Rest is definitely an important aspect of healing a flare. But, as counterintuitive as it may seem, keeping a little movement or exercise can actually help to heal a flare. This is a delicate balance but even if you can do 2 seconds of abdominal bracing in bed it will help your healing journey. Do not push yourself but show your body love by engaging with healing movement. Other examples may be foam rolling or stretching depending on your level of fitness and past experience.

Exercise has always been very hard for me, am I just lazy?

No! You are definitely not lazy. For those of us living with autoimmune disease we often deal with exercise intolerance which is defined as “a condition of inability or decreased ability to perform physical exercise at what would be considered to be the normally expected level or duration. It also includes experiences of unusually severe post-exercise pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or other negative effects.” People living with autoimmune disease are constantly under a barrage of stress, simply due to their overactive immune systems. Exercise is an additional stressor on the body--one that can lead to positive change. So we need to balance the total stress in our lives including exercise in order to avoid flare ups. You can learn more about exercise intolerance in this post.