Staying active is one of the best things you can do for yourself, even if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. However, a person with rheumatoid arthritis should know about working within limits.
The benefits of exercise for a person with rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Relief from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis
- Makes bones stronger
- Boosts energy
- Improves heart health
- Improves muscle strength and function
- Improves joint stability
- Improves physical function
- Increases quality of life
Exercise Options for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Aerobic exercises: These exercises increase the heart rate and breathing. They include brisk walking, swimming, running, dancing and cycling. Consult your doctor before starting these exercises and ask about the ways to limit stress on joints.
- Swimming and other water exercises: Water provides buoyancy, which helps to make movements easier. These exercises put less stress on joints, muscles, and tendons. The natural resistance provided by water helps in strength and stamina building. The people that have a considerable disability and limited mobility can also perform these exercises.
- Yoga: Yoga improves range of motion and relaxes the body.
- Dance: This activity is a great form of exercise. It has added benefits of providing social interaction and enjoyment of music.
Tips to Protect Your Joint During Exercise:
Following are some tips that can help you to protect your joints during exercise:
- choose low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming
- Perform exercises for a shorter time
- Try to exercise for several short periods in a day rather than exercising once a day for a long time
- Always do the warm up exercises before starting any exercise routine
- Always let your body cool down after exercises
- Add flexibility exercises to your plan to improve and increase range of motion
- Wear good athletic shoes to support your feet.