Exercises Suited for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a very serious autoimmune disease in which the immune system becomes your own worst enemy. RA causes the immune system to mistakenly attack joints and organs instead of bacteria and viruses. The number of people in the U.S. with rheumatoid arthritis is 1.5 million and growing. It is also nearly three times more common in women.
Because rheumatoid arthritis can cause extreme pain, working out can be difficult. However, exercising is important because it strengthens bones and muscles, which helps improve long-term pain relief for people with RA. The Arthritis Foundation and doctors advocate workouts, as long as they do not exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Below are some exercises that may be suited for people with RA.
Please do not make any changes to your exercise regime without consulting with your doctor.
Yoga. A holistic physical therapy practice instead of a single workout, yoga may be a great option for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The soft stretching increases the length of muscles, strengthening without increasing inflammation. The slow, gentle movements promote a healthier immune system.
Chair Stand. This may be a great exercise for those who want to build leg muscles. You begin by sitting on a chair that lets your legs rest at 90 degree angles. Simply stand and sit using controlled motions. Be careful not to let yourself fall! This is a great exercise because it can be done anywhere.
Swimming. Considered one of the best cardio activities for people with joint pain, it is great for individuals with all types of arthritis, from advanced rheumatoid arthritis to psoriatic arthritis. Water offers enough resistance to work out the entire body while putting the least pressure on joints and muscle tissue.
Walking. If you do not have access to a pool, walking runs a close second for ideal cardio exercise. Unless your rheumatoid arthritis is in advanced stages, walking may be perfect for improving bone strength and organ health.
Moderate Weight Lifting. Stronger muscles may make daily activities easier. The key with weights is to know your limit; you should be able to do 15 repetitions easily. Many gyms have pulley machines that may make exercising with arthritis much easier.
If your joints are inflamed, it is crucial to take a few days off from exercising. Learn how to listen to your body–know when you can push yourself to workout, and when you should pull back and rest.
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Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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