Today’s post is going to be a little personal… but I also feel very passionate about this topic… so just a heads up! I was born with a condition called Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes by body to attack the lining in the joints. Ninety percent of people upon hearing that I have JRA automatically respond with something along the lines of “But you’re too young to have arthritis!” And trust me, I wish this was the case. My disease, although similar to adult Rheumatoid Arthritis, hits at a young age. I was diagnosed at the age of 15 after an injury to my shoulder in an Aerobics class. It was a whirlwind of doctors visits, experimental medicines, and so very many emotions. And lots of pain. It has been a very physics struggle, learning how my body works and what its limits are and how far I can push it.
I’ve always wanted to be a healthy and fit person. But when you wake up many mornings too sore to walk, it gets difficult to stay active. Yet, staying active is one of the best things you can do to help ease arthritis symptoms in the long run. Talk about a catch 22. It’s been an uphill battle figuring out how to incorporate exercise into my life! But I have learned a lot about my body and how to help it over the past ten years, and this knowledge is something that I would like to share, and I hope it can help people in similar situations wanting to become active (even if that is a small subset of the population.
So, on that note, I am going to start blogging about fitness related material along with my normal fashion posts. I hope this inspires, rather than drives people away. I am going to try and do a “Fitness Friday” post at least once a month, so keep yours eyes peeled!
For my first post, I thought I would share something I am doing to stay active. Lately, I have had this strange urge to hike. I have always HATED hiking. It can be very hard on my joints, especially on steep inclines and with the pounding impact going down the mountains. However, the last little while, my opinions have changed. I have been trying to go on more gentle hikes, which minimize the joint pain. The reason I like hiking as a workout is that it is good for cardiovascular endurance. No matter your level, you can find a hike that will fit your cardio needs. It is great for strengthening your legs, which in turn, helps to strengthen your joints. I have been on many hikes, however, where I have pushed too hard, and ended up paying for it over the next few days (or weeks) when my joints protest. I really believe that when it comes to exercising with JRA, slow and steady wins the race. You can’t expect to be a star athlete overnight. No one can, even without arthritis. We just need to take it even slower. But remember, even if you are going slow, you are still lapping everyone on the couch! This is about a healthy lifestyle- not a healthy week or month!
Last Saturday, I went hiking up a local canyon to some Wind Caves. These are caves that have been eroded by, you guessed it- wind! It was a beautiful hike to go on, with all of the plants starting to bloom for spring. It was about 4 miles round trip, with 900 ft. of elevation gain. I got some great cardio in, and it made me feel great afterwards!
Fashion Behind Today’s Fitness
Here are some photos from my hike (of course, I still have to have some kind of fashion, no matter where I go! #fahshionistaproblems). I love this “Proud Supporter of Messy Hair and Sweatpants” shirt from Hello Fab. It is made from the most comfy material and it hangs just right. My roommates tease me though, because this is probably far from the truth with my everyday look- I’m always put together haha. Even so, the irony is funny! This neon pink, sheer striped jacket from AdornIt boutique is one of my favorite new additions- it is perfect for throwing over an outfit when you need just a light jacket- such as when you are going hiking! I think it will be great as a swimsuit coverup this summer as well!
Shop this look!
Pink Jacket: AdornIt Boutique (on sale this week!! Comes in several colors) || Shirt: Hello Fab not currently listed (but you can buy it here!)|| Leggings: Forever 21 (old, but love these and these!) || Shoes: Aasics
Thanks for your Love and for Subscribing!
Thank you to all of my wonderful followers who have subscribed to me in all of my different social media outlets! I had no idea when I started posting random “#ootd” selfies on Instagram that it would become this amazing adventure! I really feel so blessed! Thanks to getting me to where I am!
You guys are seriously the best! Thank you for supporting me in what I love to do!