There is much evidence to support that exercise is beneficial in Sjögren’s, some of it indirect (RA studies), inflammation studies, etc. One study with Sjögren’s patients showed benefit, but there is only one so far that I could find. The main problem with exercise is the common feeling of flu-like symptoms, fatigue and all sorts of pain that come with any autoimmune disease. It would be counterintuitive to add to the feeling that you are stressing your body.
The benefits to exercise are so numerous, such as:
- Decreases inflammation in the whole body (movement is lubrication)
- Cardiovascular Disease risk reduction
- # 1 priority for Alzheimer’s prevention (aerobic exercise
- Bone density benefits
- Mood regulation
- Mental clarity improvement (great for brain fog)
- And so on…..
I can tell you it is sometimes not easy to get up and “Just do it”. But build a habit and give it no more thought than brushing your teeth. You almost always will feel better once you get going. The more strenuous training is often the harder to start, but the benefits are greater.
Now On to Pilates:
Breath is such an integral part of Pilates that it is one of the Basic Principles of Pilates. Joseph Pilates asserts that we should breathe using deep, controlled, diaphragmatic breaths. Unlike breathing in yoga, we should inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. He also suggested visualizing the lungs as bellows which we inflate and release to their maximum capacities. We should inhale at the point of the most physical exertion to oxygenate our blood to power our muscles. He wrote, “breathing is the most integral part of an exercise, and even if you follow no other recommendation, learning to breathe correctly is the most important thing”.
Equipment Pilates which is often what I recommended for anyone start off and with any issues of any kind. The reformer will be your friend I promise.
One Lung Breathing
Round and Release
Hands Behind the Head
Arms and Hands