Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise Plan
No matter how you may feel about it, it is vital to have a Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise Plan. Normally, your Rheumatologist or Doctor will help you with the planning of these as no two people are the same.
With that in mind, the last thing you are going to need is someone else to give you a lecture and tell you what you should or should not be doing. Instead let’s focus on the many varieties of exercise you may be able to consider to keep yourself fit and how they will benefit you.
There are three main types of exercise you will have recommended to you. These are Stretching, Strengthening and Endurance.
Stretching – Possibly the most important part of any exercise routine and especially with RA, as they will help you with “warm ups” as well as keeping your joints supple. Try and stretch the muscles and limbs as far as they can comfortably go and hold that position for about 5 seconds.
These kind of stretches do not need to take long at all, but will help you a great deal in the long term.
Strengthening– A lot of people think that this is better than Stretching, DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! Your stretches are vital, and should never be ignored.
That’s not to say that strengthening exercises should be missed. By keeping the muscles toned, you can reduce stress on the joints – Some exercise to strengthen the muscles are especially developed for Arthritic conditions and allow you to keep toned with the minimal of movement.
Endurance – The final exercise type is another must. Sadly, neither Stretching nor Stretching are going to help on their own long term. By building stamina you will be able to walk further and exercise longer. The beneficial effects of this can never be underestimated.
Swimming is a great way of combing all three of the above and is a “sport” that anyone can dive into (Enough with the bad jokes already! – Ed) – While Yoga can help with stretching.
Though there are many exercise you can look into, and many exercise plans, you should always speak to your doctor or specialist first. There would be no point trying to give you an exercise plan here especially if you have previously not really been an active person… The truth is it may do more harm than good.
But we can answer a few questions that normally do get asked:
How often should I exercise?
The best advice is to follow your plan at least two to three times a day, provided you are feeling well enough. RA Medications can leave you feeling withdrawn and tried. Exercise when you feel like this is dangerous.
If the symptoms persist and you cannot exercise, consult your doctor.
How about how I do the exercises?
Your doctor will have no doubt given you a plan by now, so the key advice is little and often… You are not trying to win any medals, just keep healthy. Always try and keep affected joints moving as they can become stiff, muscles can become weaker and in the worst cases, there can even be deformity. Though the exercises may be a little repetitive, Imagine how can it can be without them… Not pleasant!
How long should I exercise?
It should be comfortable for you. If you start to experience any kind of pain then you are overdoing it and that can spell disaster. Stays focused on what your body is telling you and stop if the discomfort lasts for any more than 20 minutes.
What about during a flare up? Should I carry on?
Now that is a time where you will have to change you routine. Obviously it will be very painful as the inflammation takes hold.
Wherever you can, you should try to find some form of strengthening exercise you can do with a minimum of movement. These are often called “Isometric” or “Static” exercises. Your doctor will have recommended some of these for you.
Swimming is helpful too, and if you can manage it, then you should continue with it.
I am normally quite active anyway, looking after the house and going to work, do I really need to exercise?
Once upon a time, maybe that would have been the case, but not now… Take a look around you and just count how much you do each day.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise Plan
How many remote controls do you won? How many touch screen gadgets? How many automatic Juicers, computers, coffee makers, and other labour saving devices? Be honest! Your house and workplace are full of them aren’t they?
All our homes and workplaces are, so frankly, neither work nor housework counts as exercise anymore as we just do not do enough. Unless you are involved in the manual labour style of work, you are not really going to be doing enough to keep yourself fit… And even manual labour does not allow for a full range of movement in affected joints.
Listen to you doctor’s advice, they know what they are talking about.
So there you have it, you must always have a well-developed and researched Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise Plan, though really the choice is yours if you want to live with pain or do something about it.