Exercise matters - Take charge - Take action
Exercise is the single most important thing you can do to help yourself.
AS is a condition for life and during its course it may affect you differently at different times. The fitter and more flexible you are, the better able you will be to deal with the stiffness and pain.
It's not enough to rely on medication. You also have to exercise.
Benefits of exercise
- Increased flexibility - the more flexible you are the easier it is to do everyday tasks like putting on your socks
- Increased range of movement - the more mobility you have the easier it is to do things
- Improved posture - better posture makes you feel better in yourself and reduces feelings of self consciousness
- Improved sleep - exercise is physically tiring which improves sleep quality, ensuring you wake feeling refreshed
- Reduction in stiffness and pain - exercise can result in less pain at night and improved sleep quality
The focus for exercise for people with AS is on improving or maintaining your:
- Range of movement in joints
- Posture control
- Muscle strength
- Muscle length
- Lung capacity
- Cardiovascular fitness
Any exercise you decide to undertake needs to be regular, consistent and kept up over the long term. So, it's important to choose something you enjoy.
It's vital to keep a good posture with AS. This video shows you how to check your posture.
Last reviewed: September 2015