man wearing brown button up jacket and pants leaning on wall


I recently saw the words “You rest, you rust” on a billboard and I had one of those moments when the light bulb clicked on. What happens when you are stationary for too long? You get up and it is hard to move around. Your joints seem like they take a minute to warm up. Your body is stiff. I have visions of me sitting on a bench in a park and not moving because I am fatigued or in pain. I see myself rusting from the inside out, at least that is the way I feel.

Exercising or moving or doing things that keep you active are so very difficult when you are in pain or fatigued. Sometimes I get home from work and I don’t want to move. I just want to sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing. I don’t have the energy to make dinner, pet the dog, do the laundry or even watch television. I know that we have to allow ourselves these moments and not feel guilty about them. However, if we allow ourselves too many of these moments it is counterproductive, at least for me. I will rust. How many of you remember the Wizard of Oz and the tin man? It rains and he rusts and needs oil to get him going. Envision the same for those of us who have RA. But in our case, the oil is exercise or keeping active. How many of us take the elevator when stairs would be better for us? How many of us find the parking spot closest to where we are going even if we have to drive around for an hour? Would it not be better to walk up those stairs or park further away and walk the distance? Would this not help prevent us from rusting? One of the frequent excuses that I make is that I can’t afford the gym or gym equipment. We live in the country and walking is dangerous on the country roads. I frequently use money as a reason why I can’t exercise.

So, I put together a list of free things that you can do in your everyday life to keep you from rusting:

  1. Park away from where you are going and walk.
  2. Walk up and down stairs.
  3. Go to the park and walk.
  4. Clean the house.
  5. Clean the garage.
  6. Clean your car.
  7. Go hiking.
  8. Yoga
  9. Try balancing exercises.
  10. Throw a ball for your dog.
  11. Do home exercises.
  12. Play music and dance to it.
  13. Have fun creating ways to exercise so it does not feel like you are exercising. Don’t call it exercise. Call it rust prevention.

End Everyday Pain for 50+: A 10-Minute-a-Day Program of Stretching, Strengthening and Movement to Break the Grip of Pain

rusting 2




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