My RA Fit Kit – Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise, Part 4

Real RA fit kit by real RA patient videoSeveral people have asked me about the My RA Fit Kit program by UCB (Cimzia). I’ve read lots of comments from RA patients. One patient didn’t just comment. She created her own RA fit kit on video (below).

 

Some history on the My RA Fit Kit commercial

The first commercial was scrapped after a short run.  I can’t even find any evidence of it anywhere. I remember that the woman was about my age. She was wearing white. I remember loudly sucking air while rewinding it several times.

Fast forward. A younger prettier girl reads the same script in a more casual tone. She hits the right note. With some patients anyway.

The jury’s still out, but I think UCB (the makers of Cimzia) must be thrilled about the buzz on their remake commercial for the RA Fit Kit. Of course, like everyone else, buzz is what UCB wants. They want people to spend time on their website …to have stuff in their home with UCB’s brand on it …and to think about them or talk about them in any way.

What about the exercise in the My RA Fit Kit?

Personally, I can’t do the things the girl in the commercial does. Thousands of comments tell me I’m not alone. But she’s not alone either. There are some mild cases of RA which don’t have a devastating effect on the patient’s daily life – at least during certain periods. The statistics are hard to nail down, but there are at least as many patients like me as there are like her.

Exercise was a big part of my life while I lived with untreated, undiagnosed periodic RA flares in feet, hips, and shoulders. I was an activity warrior until five years ago. On a single day, my life changed. No medical treatment or magic juice has changed it back. One day I could do 100 pushups and the next, I could not brush my hair.

My response the My RA Fit Kit commercial

Her words sound foreign to me. I guess they were written by a highly paid writer, focus-grouped to death. Think about the fact that they stuck with their script even when they re-did the whole commercial with new people and scenery. I’ll resist the urge to pick apart the lines that made me gasp originally. Here’s a token: “Plus my knees are bad,” she says. Then what is she doing on that stair stepper?

A homemade RA fit kit for real patients

Tanya, a registered nurse, RA patient, and reader of this blog, has created her own video in response, called the Real RA Fit Kit by a Real RA Patient. She admits that she’s no fitness expert, but I think Tanya’s video is good. For those patients like me who can’t lift weights or do stair-stepping any more, this is a hopeful statement that we can do something to preserve mobility. And for those patients like the one in the commercial, who still have a bad day or whose RA eventually progresses, Tanya’s Real RA Fit Kit will be there for them.

Recommended reading:

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

20 thoughts on “My RA Fit Kit – Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise, Part 4

  • December 13, 2010 at 6:48 am
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    OMG! That’s wonderful! Let’s make real RA exercise tapes and sell them to support RA Warrior! I’ll be glad to do something, as long as someone walks me through how to use my webcam or my camcorder. And how about hair brushing as exercise? Making coffee? Doing laundry? All required some stretching and repetitive movements. They would all be more “real” than the Cimzia “RA Fit Kit” exercises.

    A problem I have with that website is that they did not ask me which joints are involved, my age, or if I have additional health problems. I’m 68. My lumbar and sacral spine are involved to the point I cannot under any circumstances get down on the floor – I can’t get back up. I’m overweight (thank you RA meds on top of my low activity on top of my metabolism [thanks Grandmomma]) so getting down and up is iffy, anyway. I have fibromyalgia which affects what I can do almost as much as my RA. I have hypertension that goes up when I exercise too much.

    But I was not asked any of that, and was not given a more appropriate list of exercises. “Walk briskly?” Not hardly! I’m doing well to stagger to the kitchen and sit down, then stagger back to the living room and sit down, then stagger back to the bedroom and lie down! And I know I’m not the only one who has these problems. I daresay that at least 1/2 of the people with RA have similar problems – even those with “mild” cases.

    Yeah! Let’s make *real* exercise videos by *real* RA people that *real* people with RA can use!

    Reply
    • December 13, 2010 at 10:00 am
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      You went through their intake process? I thought they asked about which joints? That’s disappointing. And other medical conditions would definitely be important. Of course it would be impossible to create a Fit Kit that would fit everyone especially everyone with RA even trying to consider our pains. I honestly feel that many believe that you and I are exaggerating & we could do more if we really wanted to. That’s why I try to include how much I loved to exercise, hoping to help people understand.

      Reply
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  • December 13, 2010 at 9:38 am
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    Kelly, my kids watched the new commercial and say, “Mom, you should look into that.” I just nod and file the site away in my memory for later use, because I, too, noticed the bad knees and she’s on a stair climber!

    I get told that mobility is the key to keeping flexibility. I walk, maybe not as vigorous as I once did, heck, less vigorous than I did when I first was diagnosed, but I find I’m in MORE pain walking than if I just sort of sit, get stiff then walk it out a bit.

    The hubby and I went Christmas gift shopping yesterday. We were walking around for over an hour. I was leaning heavily on the cart the entire time. By the time we got to the car, I was in tears, but blamed them on the cold wind blowing in my face. After getting home, my body was very angry. Hips, lower back were the worst hit. Then, it wasn’t until I started writing on the name tags, I realized that the amount of pressure I used on the cart to keep myself going/up ended up hurting my hands more than normal.

    I’m sorry, but I think that the RA Fit kit commercial is bogus in some ways. I think they’d do better having more than one person in the commercial, from various levels of severity of RA, and then see how they do.

    Reply
    • December 13, 2010 at 9:52 am
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      That’s a good idea. I’ll bet we see that next. It sure seems that the slight improvements over the last year have been influenced by what patients are saying.

      Reply
  • December 13, 2010 at 10:09 am
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    I also went through the RA fit kit intake. I remember that it did ask about my problem joints — to which I responded knees, ankles and hands. The cardio exercise recommendation it came back with for me? JOGGING!

    After I finished laughing my head off, I closed the site and gave up on that avenue. Unfortunately, now I’m on CIMZIA’s mailing list and get follow up mailings every few weeks to remind me of my poor judgment in thinking that an RA pharmaceutical company *might* actually have some good advice.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2010 at 10:55 am
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    The commercials are a joke!…Exercising for the most part is joke! I told my husband i need a pool but got nothing except a dirty look!..Dont want to go to the YMCA! All the germs in that pool…kids peeing..yuck..not good if you have open wounds of any kind!..I didnt ever recieve a RA Fit Kit..my feet are terrible! All my toes have a big dip in the middle i guess from me trying to stand and balance in the shower..oh the pain to shower! I have to put a little electric heater in the bathroom because i cant be cold!..If you live in Missouri its cold!..@Kelly…Thanks for informing me on my medical records! Ive been reading them(with the doctors note) and cant believe what she is saying! That i turned down 2 treatments that she suggested! I dont remember that and wouldnt do that without trying first..of course i wouldnt do anything that would hurt me! Like jump off a bridge..lol jk…She talks about my back in my records..yes my back is bad,I dont think being a Union Painter and Paperhanger helped me at all with this RA! But of course the doc said i dont have RA! Told him i was diagnoised at 8yrs old! Ok so i got a bad back..whats new? thanks again Kelly…Cant believe all that you do for us!

    Reply
  • December 13, 2010 at 11:04 am
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    Tanya, thank you!
    Calm, encouraging and accepting…

    Reply
  • December 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm
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    I went to the website about 5 weeks ago and like most everyone else, went through the questions and was anticipating a tailor made program for me based on my answers. What I got was a canned workout program that had me doing exercises that I can not do, due to my limitations, and it had duplicates of other exercises. It also recommended that I get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week. If I didn’t work, I could work out every day for 25 minutes, but I can’t work out on my work days (12 hours) period.

    I like the idea, it just wasn’t executed very well in my opinion.

    Reply
  • January 2, 2011 at 2:46 am
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    For any of you out there that would like to own a little instructional book that (in my opinion)contains a nice variety and skill/ability levels of exercises. Lots of photos and very clearly outlined. The format allows you to modify your own personal exercise program.
    I also appreciate the photos of REAL people in the book and not super models. The book is titled “Exercise Beats Arthritis” by Valerie Sayce & Ian Fraser.
    I personally have fairly moderate to sometimes servere RA and find most of the exercises attainable & helpful.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 9:12 am
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    Love Tanya’s video it added several exercises to the ones taught by the physical therapist. I hope she continues the series to include our mid and lower portions.

    Reply
    • January 11, 2011 at 10:39 am
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      Thanks Darla. I know she’s trying to. I have one she sent me that I will post very soon.

      Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 10:01 am
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    I too think the commercial is comical! BUT! i am pleased that there are MORE commercials out there regarding RA! when i was diagnosed 11 years ago, there was 0 information on TV! lol now im seeing commercials for humira, enbrel and simponi! and a ra fit kit..

    Reply
  • February 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm
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    :dog: Sent to my daughter who has Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm
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    thank you – I have been in ocupational therapy for 8 weeks – has made HUGH difference in my shoulders – but cant keep going forever – will pick up yoga. Am having to sell my business as it is too labor intensive for me anymore.

    Reply
  • September 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm
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    Hi, I LOVE YOU! I followed along with your upper body stretching and I felt so much better right away I want a copy of you stretch routine from head to toe… Is there a dvd or vhs of the whole thing? I want to do it and keep it for as long as I live!!!! PLEASE let me know as soon as you can if I can get a copy of this whole body stretch routine and how much for it and shipping….Thank You so much Sharon (wants to move again)

    Reply
  • October 26, 2011 at 11:13 am
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    Streneous exercise–is the writer of that article kidding? I don’t know anyone with RA who can do that anymore. The few people I know who have RA, including me, and most of the ones of the ones whose comments I read, would love to be able to run, jump, etc., but absolutely, even on their best day, cannot do that. For many of us, just being able to go on a walk and being able to continue the slow and gentle strenghtening and stretching exercises that we learned in physical therapy most days is a real blessing. For those who have never had physical therapy, I highly recommend it. It is important to learn how not to further injure your joints and to listen to what your body is telling you.

    Reply
  • May 20, 2012 at 7:15 am
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    Thank you, Tanya! I have been trying to do some exercising and have found myself to be in unbearable pain. Thank you for explaining that the “no pain, no gain” does not apply to inflamed joints. I did the first part of your video and feel so much better!

    Reply
  • November 30, 2012 at 11:45 am
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    It’s a scam. It’s not personalized at all. They recommend the same exercises for everyone.

    Reply

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