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Use it or lose it

Ms. Meniscus gives advice to a physically active woman with sedentary friends.

Dear Ms. Meniscus –

My friends with arthritis are sloths. I'm active and in shape. I don't want to be around them. How do i dump them?

Active with arthritis

Dear Active with arthritis,

The truth is that chronic illnesses, like arthritis tend to cause fatigue and sometimes leave individuals suffering from them feeling like the best thing they can do is relax. While relaxation is good in moderation, keeping sedentary for too long is in fact worse for people who suffer from conditions like arthritis. “Use it or lose it,” is a phrase that you may hear in the context of the importance of keeping your body active in order to stay healthy, although it may seem contradictory.

These are things you most likely already know for yourself, and I give you props for being able to keep healthy and active despite your condition!

But instead of ditching your friends, why don’t you educate them about the pitfalls of too much “relaxation” when it comes to arthritis. Invite them to join you to a low-impact activity like swimming or tai-chi. It will probably take a considerable amount of convincing on your end for them to finally commit, but they will feel the difference once they start to engage in physical activity for a bit.

However, if they continue to decline your activity invitations, then you will have already “dumped” them by default because as they continue to sit on the couch, you will be living an active, healthy lifestyle.

Stay healthy and bring your friends along for the ride.

--M

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