Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise Program
It’s key to living with Rheumatoid Arthritis to have Exercise Plan, but making a plan is not going to be easy. There are no set plans that are suitable for everyone so you should consult your doctor before you commit to any kind of exercise.
With that in mind, we can only give you an idea of the best exercises you may be offered. Trying to lecture you could do more harm than good.Let’s look at the many varieties of exercise you may be able to consider to keep yourself fit and well.
There are three main types of exercise you will have recommended to you. These are Stretching, Strengthening and Endurance.
Stretching – The most vital 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.
Hand stretches are something you should consider as these are often the area that is most likely to be affected early on.
These kind of stretches do not need to take long at all, but will help you a great deal in the long term.
Tai chi is a great way to combine social activity with stretching. You would be surprised how often being in a more social environment can help you keep to an exercise routine.
Strengthening– Now maintaining your strength is going to be a little awkward and you should never jump into any kind of weight lifting as it can be more of a risk than a help if you do not have a sensible plan.
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.
Where would you focus on though when it comes to strength exercises? Well that really depends on where you are worst affected.
Most people who develop Rheumatoid Arthritis will find it normally affects the legs first, so there should always be a focus on improving leg strength. But overall a balance plan will proved far more benefit in the long term.
You should always start with low, light weights and a small number of reps at first and stay in regular touch with your doctor before making any changes.
Endurance – The final exercise type is another must. Sadly, neither Stretching nor Strengthening 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.
Endurance exercises need not be difficult and do not have to mean special equipment. The good old resistance tube is a cheap and simple tool that is also very effective. You can use them at home whenever you have a few spare moments and they will not only help keep your stamina up, making the pain of RA more bearable, but have the added advantage of improving your cardio vascular health and strength too.
Swimming is a great way of combing all three of the above and is a “sport” that anyone can enjoy and it also combines great social activity as well– 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.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise Program
The best advice is to follow your plan at least two to three times a day for the stretching exercises, while endurance and strength would be better spaced out to maybe two or three times a week.
RA Medications can leave you feeling withdrawn and tried, which can be very difficult to work around. Rest during these times you may wish to slow down a little and take things easy, do not worry – Provided you keep up with your stretching routine it will not be a problem.
However, you really have to be careful if the pain lasts longer than normal. If it does you should speak to your doctor straight away.
Just because you may have a flare up, there are still things you can do to help yourself along. Some simple gardening will help keep you active and stop you feeling bored.
So there you have it, the basics you need for a well-developed Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise Program, now you can speak to your doctor and plan for a far healthier future.