# 29 Gentle warm ups

For those who suffer from RA and other rheumatic diseases, doing mild physical exercise in the morning is a must if we are to function at all.

I've found that starting the day with a short 10 minute warm-up sequence really lowers the pain and helps me function much better through the whole day.

The one I use is really simple and is used in Chinese Guoshu (kung fu) classes in the Wutan lineage of Grand Master Su Yu Chang. I´ve practiced with Sifu Paolo Castaneda at Oslo Wutan.

The warm ups are basically a system where you go through each of the major joints in the body starting with your feet and rotate every joint in a circular motion, 10 times to the left, 10 times to the right. You can try out and find your own way of doing this, one that works well with your specific condition, and possibly find some guidance in this amateurish description:

Start by standing straight, feet together.

Lift left heel off the ground and rotate the ankle joint by making small circles with your heel: to the left 10 times, then change direction and make circles to the right. Repeat with right foot.

Knees: feet together, hand on knees, bend your knees and keeping them together make small circles, both to the left and right. Here's a video showing what it looks like (by a school that practices kung fu for health).

Hips: stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, hands on hips.  Rotate hips in circles first to the left then to the right.

Hands: stand straight, arms in front of you, rotate hands from the wrist, first to the lefts then right.

Elbows: arms out to the side, hands pointing up. Let your hands fall out sideways and down while keeping the elbow in the same place, and rotate underarms in circles like a windmill.

Shoulders: Both arms pointing up. Let one arm fall forwards while the other falls back, continue arm swings in circular motion. 20 repetitions on each side.

Twisting back massage: Stand with arms shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, twist your body left and right from the knees up, letting your arms swing around your body, slapping your torso as you move rhythmically move from side to side. gently massaging the body as you do.

All done, pat yourself on the back and smile :)

PS... is this too complicated? Maybe I should just make a video...

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