Arthro-Pilates and Lupus




News Canada Aug 2013 issue


Modified Pilates Exercises

Photo caption: Lori Weisbrod has trained individuals with arthritic conditions for seven years and shares a few modified positions that work for most people. However, always consult your physician before starting any new workout regimen.
(NC) Living a healthier lifestyle is always a challenge. Most people strive to eat healthy and exercise regularly, but living with inflammatory arthritis can make this goal especially difficult.

Staying active has many benefits for those with arthritis, but unfortunately many feel exercise is too difficult, painful, or simply too tiring.

The reality is there are 4.6 million Canadians living with a form of arthritis and regular physical activity may help them improve function, mood, and their overall quality of life while easing the pain of inflamed joints.

Dawn Richards, 39, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in her early 30s but it did not stop her from continuing to be active. At such a young age her biggest fear was that she would lose her independence so she remained active hoping that regular exercise would preserve her quality of life.

“Having rheumatoid arthritis makes me appreciate the things I can do even more, and exercising helps me stay healthy and happy,” Richards explains. “While I can't control my disease, I can control the activities that I do.”

Richards is a dedicated runner and enjoys staying active six days a week. Before she found proper treatment for her RA, Richards had difficulty doing certain exercises such as running, due to the pain and swelling in her feet. Working out at the gym was also a challenge because it was hard to grip the machines and weights properly with her hands. However, she never gave up and decided to modify her activities to suit her new life with arthritis.

Mat pilates trainer, Lori Weisbrod, who was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) more than 34 years ago, has trained numerous individuals with arthritic conditions. After years of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in spite of her PsA, Weisbrod encourages others to do the same through a specialized mat pilates called “arthro-pilatesTM” ( that she created specifically for those with chronic illnesses like arthritis.
“I strongly believe that it's imperative to keep active and stay fit to improve joint mobility and stability,” Weisbrod explains. “By exercising, individuals can maintain muscle mass around their joints and ensure the joints stay functional.”

Dawn Richards and Lori Weisbrod agree that living with a chronic illness has its challenges. They are optimistic that maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps them physically and psychologically.

“It is the best way to keep your sense of control,” adds Weisbrod.



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