Exercise this Summer—From Zumba to Biking

Exercise this Summer—From Zumba to Biking

Hanging out in the summer house or taking on a summer job? Bike rides and mowing the lawn, or sticking to routines? The summer, in part, offers different opportunities to exercise than the rest of the year. This is how a couple of Elsa's users view exercise this summer.

“The resistance bands join me at the cottage”

My name is Pia, I am 63 years old, and have AS, ankylosing spondylitis. This summer is going to be different for me. I recently lost my mother and have inherited her summer house, where I will spend a lot of time. I plan to keep up with everything there is to do when you have a cottage with a garden. And I am going to take daily walks on the forest paths by the lake. 

Since I am a Zumba instructor, I will take the opportunity to create new dance programs with music and choreography during the summer. When I hear the music, it gets me going, in Zumba, there is no right or wrong! Even during periods when I do not feel great, Zumba makes me wonder, “where did the bad day go?”  

Exercise is the cherry on top of my life—without it, I would not have the energy to do everything I do today. I am responsible to do what I can to feel good. The resistance bands that I usually exercise with at home also join me at the cottage. I have several exercise routines that I choose from and work out for around 30 minutes. 

My advice is to get a personalized bank of exercises with a variety of workouts to choose from in the case that your plan A, and maybe even your plan B does not work or in case your motivation runs short. If I have a bad day I try to do something small. It is so much better than nothing at all. And when I get out and feel the fresh air in my lungs it makes me think, “oh, I can do another 15 minutes”. 

"My motto is that I will treat my body every day"

My name is Sanna and I have rheumatoid arthritis, RA. I am 41 years old. At the moment, I am on study leave, which means that for the summer I will work outdoors as a so-called nature guide, but I will also work a bit from home. We have just got a dog and that gives me the opportunity for natural breaks and walks.

I used to place high demands on myself. I do not do that anymore. That is why I make sure to keep exercise at a reasonable level. 

What is most important for me is that I stick to my exercise, that I regularly do something. My motto is that I should treat my body to something every day. What do I need today? I do a lot of yoga, and there is a difference in how I carry out yoga depending on how I feel. If I feel strong, I go with power yoga and challenging exercises. If I am having a less good day I do yoga to soften up, to really be in my body for a while and get a sense of what I need. 

I also try to incorporate some weight training, but that routine is more demanding for me and does not come as naturally as yoga or walking. I need to challenge myself to get it done. 

"Everyday activities are so easy during summer"

My name is Annika and I am 55 years old. I work in business development and I have psoriatic arthritis, PsA. 

I have lived with my diagnosis for a while and have come to realize that I may need to make multiple attempts at a physical activity. In the past, I would get disappointed with myself when something did not work out, but I now know that it does not mean it will not work next time. It is important for me to dare to try again and again, to find my own way. I own my body and I can actually decide for myself. 

Getting moving in summer, a time when I also travel away can be a challenge. But I try to make less of a fuss of it all and take advantage of the fact that everyday activities are so easy during this time of year. I swim a little when I am out bathing anyways, go for a bike ride, or clear out weeds. During the summer I want to find those little opportunities where I can relax and enjoy myself. I do not feel like I need to finish a triathlon—just going for a walk and buying ice cream is sometimes good enough. 

My word of advice is to let the car take a vacation, and walk and bike instead! Bike to grandma’s, walk to the beach or the park. Take the opportunity to make it simple for yourself when the weather is nice, and there is nothing holding you back from getting moving. 

Want to know more?

Download the Elsa app and follow Elsa's program. You can also find tips and thoughts from people living with a rheumatic diagnosis.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play