Easy-on-the-Joints Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be an immobilizing condition. You get stiff joints, achy muscles and you can’t move. But with regular exercise, you can loosen up the stiffness and even build stronger muscles. In time, you’ll be more fit and experience less fatigue. Here are some of the benefits of regular physical activity for RA patients.
Fortify bones and strengthen muscles: Doing resistance or weight training at least two or three times a week can improve the health of your bones and muscles. It can also boost your metabolism, burning more calories and shedding excess weight in the process.
Improve your cardio: If you’re looking to make your heart stronger, lower your cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure, physical activity is the way to go. You can try walking or jogging around your neighborhood. If you’re in the gym, you can use low-impact cardio machines such as the elliptical trainer, which puts little stress on your joints. Swimming also offers wonderful cardiovascular benefits without straining the joints.
Stretch to ease stiffness: Want to improve your flexibility? Move those stiff joints and muscles. By making stretching a part of your daily routine, you can ease discomfort and stiffness. Do it before doing your regular exercises, and keep your stretching exercises gentle.
Don’t overdo your exercise: Make sure to put in a few minutes of rest between exercise sets as well as days off within your exercise week. RA symptoms tend to flare up when you’ve overexerted yourself.
Speak with an exercise trainer: To avoid exercise-related injuries, it is best to have a personal trainer to guide your through your motions. A personal trainer can also create a personalized workout plan that will meet your needs.