If you’re living with arthritis, you may feel like you’re restricted from participating in any type of exercise. However, despite the many misconceptions that there are about exercise and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it’s actually very beneficial to your health to remain active.
Getting plenty of exercise can help relieve stiff joints, improve your endurance and help to reduce joint pain. You just have to be selective about the type of exercises that you do.
Yoga & Pilates
Stretching exercises such as yoga and Pilates have lots of benefits for people who have RA. Firstly, yoga helps to keep your immune system healthy and helps to reduce any joint inflammation that you may be suffering with. It also helps people to maintain good movement and mobility.
Pilates is good for strengthening your muscles which are in charge of keeping your joints healthy.
Low Impact Exercises
Low impact exercises consist mainly of cardio based workouts, such as walking, running or swimming. With walking or running, it doesn’t matter if you carry this out indoors or outdoors. Some people prefer to exercise in the gym, whilst others prefer to get active outside. For running exercises in the gym, we would suggest taking it easy on the treadmill. You don’t want to tire yourself out to the point of exhaustion.
Water based exercises are good for people living with RA, as it relieves pressure on your joints. You don’t even have to do lots of swimming; we suggest taking it easy and doing some brisk walking in the water.
A lot of people hear the word “weights” and straight away dismiss it as being something that isn’t for them, when in fact it can be extremely beneficial for people who are living or struggling with RA. Whether it’s using hand-held weights or a machine, resistance work is a fantastic way to strengthen your muscles. It’s important that you don’t use heavy weights however, as these will be too much for your joints – keep it light!
If you’re really not confident with using weights, you can still do similar exercises with just your body.
Don’t underestimate the power of the stretch – it can actually be a really good exercise for those who have RA. A lot of people think that stretching is just something that is done before and after exercise, and whilst this is important, it can also be done as a form of exercise itself. There are many ways that you can stretch your muscles, focusing on every part of your body, including arms, legs, back and hips.
As a joint replacement surgery in London, we often deal with patients at the extreme end of the scale when it comes to arthritis. When it gets too much to live with, it may be suggested that joint replacement is the only solution.
If you feel like nothing else is working to ease the pain of your arthritis, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 07943 947 639 and we will be happy to book you an appointment.