Healthy Living

Working Out with Rheumatoid Arthritis

What are some examples of exercises for people with rheumatoid arthritis?

Some exercise suggestions from rheumatoid arthritis include walking and cycling. Cycling classes are nice because they help strengthen the knee joint. You can also enjoy the camaraderie that a workout class can provide! It helps to have a few friends with you going through the same workout to keep each other sweating and smiling.  Walking is also a great way to get aerobics in without putting too much strain on your joints. This low-impact exercise gets you to enjoy the outdoors too! It could be an activity you share with a spouse, friends, or other family members.

For strengthening exercise, both McPherson and Thompson suggest hip extensions or leg press. Both of these exercises are really good for conditioning muscles that support large joints of the lower back and legs. However, it’s important to be careful about keeping a pace that’s good for you, making sure not to damage any sensitive joints. Don’t crank up the weights either, it’s best to take it nice and slow and make sure you’re not putting any harmful strain on your body.

Another helpful machine at the gym is the elliptical. This can really do a lot for you because it has some aerobic qualities and some strength conditioning. Be careful if you use this machine by going the pace that’s right for you at a resistance that’s not too much for your joints. Try working with a personal trainer to set a level that’s good for your body.