Keep exercise enjoyable and listen to your body
Regular exercise and a proper diet should be a significant part of your everyday life. When dealing with RA, the importance of these two aspects cannot be stressed enough. Boning up your joints allows you to maintain normal joint mobility, increase your muscle strength and flexibility, maintain an ideal weight, as well as improve endurance. As a result, you will have stronger and more stable bones and muscles, a healthier heart, and less pain from RA. Staying active also leads to a good night’s sleep, which is essential in managing the stress and depression that are associated with RA.
Regardless of the type of exercise that you choose to participate in, it is important that you choose one that you will be able to enjoy and keep up with. Start off slowly and work with a doctor or physical therapist to help alter your exercise program as you go along. If one type of physical activity does not work for you, change it. If you are experiencing painful or swollen joints, take a break. Set small goals for yourself, jot down your progress, and reward yourself when you meet each goal. Most important, listen to your body. The key to keeping your joints healthy when dealing with RA is to keep moving - but within your limits.