Healthy Living

Working Out with Rheumatoid Arthritis

working out with rheumatoid arthritis

Working Out with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Daily exercise is important for anyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent chronic disease. For people who have chronic rheumatoid arthritis, this is much easier said than done. 


It is important to exercise safely for the benefit of overall health. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis one study actually identified the effects of exercise on them. Many studies reported that in people with RA who engaged in regular exercise had increased strength of muscles, aerobic stamina and physical function. Also in bone density slight improvement was seen. On radiographic imaging some also noticed progression of joint damage. The muscles that support the joint can be made even more stronger by doing exercise. This keeps the bones strong and thus the quality of life is enhanced. To fight other chronic disease such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes, daily exercise is important. A healthy weight is maintained by staying fit and this will benefit the mental health too.

Being careful-

according to one study the joint damage can become worse due to exercise. Still daily exercise such as strength training, aerobics is recommended. If there are any problematic joints such as in rheumatoid arthritis people then they should be very careful. Hence according to the persons needs the exercise should be tailored. Before you start with it, discuss with your doctor. Take help of a trainer who has already worked with people having joint issues. The first step people with RA should do is stretching. It prepares you for any exercise. It activates your muscles and joints. To help mobilize the joints that are stiff and muscles that are tensed, pre-work out stretch is very important.

Take break-

it is equally important to have rest periods. Do not push yourself too much and pay attention to your body. If your friend is doing more exercise than you are able to do it then do not feel bad since everyone has their own limits. Allow your body to heal if you have complaints of joints. For people with RA, psychotherapist Desmond Thompson, Mc Pherson has suggested some routine exercises. People from RA can benefit from three components of exercise. The first one is that the joints should be engaged in full range. This helps fight stiffness, improves flexibility and mobility. Certain exercises have aerobic nature that help in overall fitness and building stamina. Also cardiovascular health improves. Strengthening exercises is also very important. They condition the muscles in such a way so that they can support bones and joints and make them muscles can become stronger. These three basic aspects of the exercise if incorporated than will bring great health benefits.

Some helpful exercises-

people with RA have been suggested walking and cycling. The knee joint is strengthened by cycling. Also without straining your joints much you can get aerobics by walking. This exercise is of low-impact. Hip exercises or leg press is recommended for strengthening exercises. Muscles that support large joints of the lower back and legs can be conditioned by these exercises. However do it at your own pace. Do not damage any sensitive joints.  Do not strain your body. The elliptical is another helpful machine at the gym. Since it has some strength conditioning and aerobic qualities hence it can be helpful. But use it at your own pace. In order to set a level that is good for your body work with a personal trainer.