Joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and fatigue that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) experience can make you want to stay immobile. The lesser the movement, the less risk for pain, right?
Sadly, that is false. Regular exercise can actually help ease joint pain and other RA symptoms. People who exercise have improved daily function, decreased depression and fatigue, reduced pain, and improved sleep.
Decreased activity actually results in reduced muscle strength and ultimately can lead to increased arthritis pain and disability. In other words, don’t use RA as an excuse not to exercise. Instead, make it your reason to get moving. Start with these four expert-recommended RA exercises:
No special training is needed and can be done any time of the day. Benefits of walking include weight loss, which in turn is helpful for easing stress and pain in the joints.
Being in the water is a great place to stretch your muscles and soothe your joints. Swimming helps control weight, boost mood, and improve sleep, and it’s good for overall health
Particularly for people with arthritis, the smoother motion of cycling minimizes the jolting of traditional jogging. Pedalling and breathing hard can help you condition your body for other types of exercise.
Simple chores at home
You don’t always have to hit the gym for a good workout. There’s plenty of exercise to be had around your home. Give your house a thorough cleaning or work in your yard pulling weeds, raking leaves, or cutting the grass. While you’re at home, practice balancing on one leg to improve strength and balance.
But before doing all this, make sure to consult with your Physical Therapy first to ensure that these activities will contribute well to your condition.