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6 Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Are you suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis? It may seem near impossible to get relief, but WebMD says, “regular exercise helps reverse joint stiffness, builds muscle, and boosts overall fitness. With regular exercise, you can feel stronger with less fatigue.” Here are some great exercises you can do to get relief and keep your joints healthy (please consult your doctor before engaging in any exercise regimen):

  1. Low Impact Aerobics: Choose the elliptical, the stair climber, walking on the beach or in grass or even some kinds of dancing. These low impact workouts will give you the same great benefits of cardio exercises like improved heart health, endurance and stronger bones and muscles, without the added pressure and aggravation on your joints. Try to get in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
  2. Strengthen Muscles and Bones: Stronger muscles can decrease pain by better supporting your joints. Incorporate resistance exercises a few times a week to build more muscle which will in turn boost your metabolism and help you lose more weight. Having a leaner physique also puts less pressure on your joints and will lessen the pain and inflammation.
  3. Go Swimming: Doing some laps in the pool is a great way to condition your joints, get some cardio in and strengthen your muscles and bones. Spending even just a few minutes in a heated pool can decrease inflammation, stiffness and pain. Aim to work your fitness level up so you can swim for 30 minutes at a time for optimal benefits. You can even use a kickboard to get you started.
  4. Plenty of Cardio: People with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to suffer from heart disease, so keeping a healthy heart is imperative. Thankfully, you can reduce your risk of heart-related illness by incorporating moderate cardio exercise into your daily routine.
  5. Isometrics: If resistance exercise is a little too much for you, try using isometrics instead. Isometric exercise means tensing your muscles without using any weights or visible movement. This type of exercise is much easier on your joints and about as convenient as it gets because you really can do it anywhere - in the car, at work or even in front of the TV. Try spending a few minutes every day tensing the muscles, one by one, throughout your body. Tense the muscle for 5 seconds, then release for 5 seconds. Do this 5 times for each muscle. Work your way up to being able to tense your muscles for 10 to 15 seconds at a time.
  6. Stretch: You can continue to increase your flexibility by stretching on a regular basis, even your fingers and wrists. However, take care not to stretch while your joints are cold. Soak your arms and legs in a warm bath or apply moist, warmed compresses to the intended joints before and after stretching. You can also warm up with a short 10-minute cardio exercise like a brisk walk. Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds without jerking or bouncing. Use a towel or band to bridge any distance you can’t reach.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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