When you’re in pain and feel fatigued, being physically active may be the last thing on your mind. But research shows that exercise helps to relieve rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms and improve day-to-day functioning. Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program and incorporate a mix of flexibility, range of motion, aerobic and strengthening exercises. Here are some ways to get moving.
Stretching is one of the best ways to reduce stiffness and maintain range of motion, and should be part of every exercise program. Start with a 3- to 5-minute warm-up – you can march in place and pump your arms either sitting or standing. Then stretch and hold different muscles and joints for 10 to 20 seconds before releasing.
Helps with: flexibility, range of motion
Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices that combine deep breathing, gentle, flowing movement, poses and meditation. Studies show that both practices have great benefits for people with RA. The Arthritis Foundation offers yoga and tai chi DVDs and a Tai Chi Program, all specifically designed for people with arthritis.
Helps with: flexibility, range of motion, balance, stress arthritis.org/about-ar…