Last updated:14th April 2016

How exercise helps my AS

Steve Jones took part in the London Triathlon and raised money for NASS.

Steve Jones

Monday morning 6am. After a couple of Weetabix my training begins with a 12 mile bike ride to the swimming pool where I will do nearly a mile swim followed by a further 2 mile bike ride to get to work. I have got used to cycling the 26 mile round trip 4 days a week now and so will continue this all the way up to the London Triathlon and beyond.

Cycling is fantastic for people, like me, with AS. Even when I wake up and am hobbling around my flat trying to get ready, my hips feeling stiff, I will always try my very best to cycle in to work as it allows me to move my hips without any jarring or massive amounts of pressure on any of the joints. Even half a mile down the road any stiffness in my hip joint, and normally any pain, has gone away.

Swimming is another great way to exercise without aggravating your joints. It also helps you exercise other joints such as the shoulders and neck which can often stiffen up if you don't keep moving them. 

I have had AS for 8 years now and knew that I had the condition for around 2 of those. At the moment I am able to control the symptoms of AS better than at any other stage in the past 8 years. I put a lot of this down to exercise and a healthy diet. I am hoping that I can finish this year's London Triathlon in a very optimistic time of 2 hours 30 minutes which would put me in the top third of competitors, including the likes of Formula One World champion Jenson Button.

I don't consider myself to have been limited massively by my AS. By keeping training I am keeping myself fit and my joints as limber as possible.

Having AS for me means regular exercise and stretching. For some this may sound like a lot of trouble. If you actually enjoy the exercising and set your mind to a fantastic sport like Triathlon this can be very rewarding.