Rheumatoid Arthritis affects many people around the world. Getting relief from the joint pain, fatigue, swelling, and stiffness can seem like an impossible task. It is easy to believe that the less you do the better your arthritis will be. This is not true. Taking it easy and not exercising is not the answer. Physical exercise is proven to help deter chronic pain. Aerobic exercise in short intervals several times a week can increase your overall health and help your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Here are some activities to help accomplish your goal of pain relief. Make sure to check with your doctor before starting a workout plan.
Walking doesn’t require a gym membership, you don’t need to buy any equipment, and at a slow pace is not overly hard on your joints. When you go out walking you do not have to beat the record for the fastest mile. A slow pace that is comfortable for you will still give you all the benefits. So, start out slow and work your way into it.
By far the best exercise for joints, swimming is extremely low impact since you are effectively being lifted off your joints by the water. Doing water-based aerobics is better at reducing disease activity than land-based aerobics. The exercise will boost your mood and improve sleep which will reduce your stress.
Some movements, when combined with weights, can trigger symptoms. You’ll have to experiment some to find what does and doesn’t trigger your symptoms. Start off with low resistance 2-3 days a week, only working on large muscle groups, then slowly increase resistance over 6 weeks. Strong muscles will take the stress off joints and can create some symptom relief.
Cycling is great for cardio and conditioning. The smooth motion of a stationary bike can be good for joints in the lower body, which does most of the work. The drawback is that the upper body does some work too. The wrists and hands can take a beating. If your hands and wrists can manage the stress then cycling will be very beneficial.
Everyone is doing yoga nowadays. The benefits are both physical and mental. Yoga is relaxing and stress reducing along with working to help fight your arthritis symptoms. As arthritis attacks a joint you lose movement and balance is compromised. Yoga will help to work on your balance and strengthen those muscles around your joints to decrease the feeling that your joints might “give out” on you.
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