**You must always consult your physician before embarking
on any exercise program**
Exercise plays its part in the treatment of lupus. It is very
important to keep muscles & joints active for a variety
of reasons. Muscles need to be toned in order to function adequately.
The size of the muscle & its blood circulation depend on its
function (where the muscle is & what it does). The main reason
for isometric aerobic exercise (oxygen-consuming exercise) is to
increase the tone & bulk of muscles. Therefore physical therapy
is very beneficial to the patient who is trying to maintain muscle
integrity & tone. Joints depend on tendons & the calcification
of bones. These in turn depend on continued movement. Significant
bone loss through osteoporosis occurs when bones are not used regularly.
Most patients with lupus are capable of some sort of exercise
to increase aerobic capacity of cells & improve immune function.
There is no body system that does not benefit from good exercise.
Exercise can build & maintain muscle tone, support & stabilise
joints, reduce fatigue, & maintain or increase mobility.
Many factors are involved in determining how often you should
exercise & what exercises you should do. The best advice is
to consult your physician.
There are times, however, when you shouldn't exercise. Whenever
you are having a flare, exercise becomes dangerous & unwise.
Achy muscles & fatigue will usually indicate that you are incapable
of exercising at this time.
Aerobic conditioning exercise is the best exercise for lupus patients.
Isometric exercises are to be used with caution. These exercises
involve tensing of the muscles, which causes the release of large
amounts of autoantigen. Directly exercising the muscles releases
nucleic acids & a variety of other proteins into the blood.
If you have lupus, it is believed that exposing your immune system
to such proteins causes it to react even more strongly to re-exposure.