Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercises
When you have a diagnosis for Rheumatoid Arthritis, the last thing you want to hear is “you need some exercises”… With the pain you have been suffering for however long it has taken to get diagnosed the first thing you are likely to want to do to your doctor is give them a smack in the nose.
Well, I am sorry to disappoint you but you are going to have to hold your hand back and let his nose be… Because everything he is saying is true.
Exercise and Rheumatoid arthritis may seem like uneasy partners, but it is a vital tool for helping live with the condition. One thing you may or may not be aware of is that not only can the condition cause problems with your joints and damage the bones, but the steroids that are used to help ease the pain can also weaken the bones.
So exercise will be vital if you want to live a normal life.
Working with your doctor will help you come up with an exercise plan that suits you. It should be remembered that no one exercise plan is going to suit everybody. For instance, if you are carrying a little extra weight, and let’s face it – many of us are, then you may be given an exercise routine that is more focused on trying to shed some of the extra pounds.
The majority of exercises are very simple and should be easily adapted into your daily routine without any real change. There should be no excuses for not starting and keeping an exercise routine, though many may think they are active enough already.
“I work hard” or “I have too much Housework” are frequent excuses used… Yes they do help to keep you active, but not in the right way…
You will need to look at a number of different types of exercise and incorporate them into your life. These are Stretching, Endurance and Strength.
Let’s look at stretching first as this is going to be the most vital and easiest to adapt to. Stretching is very simple and easy to squeeze into your daily routine. Now what kind of stretches you go for will depend entirely upon where you find the disease affects you.
The most common place is in the hands or feet at first, so simply try stretching your toes out as far as you can for about 10 seconds, and with your hands it should be stretching your fingers from an outstretched position down into the palm from each knuckle.
Hamstring stretches are also good for working on the legs… A good way to keep motivated and also to get a social experience into your day is to consider the Chinese art of Tai Chi.
Endurance training is another aspect that should be thought about early on. Just like the stretching exercises, the use of a simple resistance tube will have a great effect on your mobility. As well as stretching the muscles and working the limbs to the maximum of their movement, essential to maintain if you want to slow the onset of Rheumatoid, they can also improve your general strength and help with you heart.
Keeping your heart healthy is important as Rheumatoid Arthritis can also weaken the muscles around the heart. It’s sadly not uncommon for people with the condition to develop heart conditions in later life, but a good exercise routine can at least help to hold back the problem.
Strength exercises can be a little more difficult. It should never be taken lightly, oh wait… I correct myself there… You SHOULD take it lightly!
There is no chance of you becoming a new power lifter or body builder, so DO NOT JUMP STRAIGHT IN AND GRAB THE WEIGHTS! That is just plain dumb!
Always, and I mean ALWAYS speak to your doctor first… And then start out with light dumb bells at first. It’s better and safer to start slow and build up gently.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercises
Maybe you should think about starting with small weight and about 10 repetitions for each muscle group at first, then slowly work your way up if your doctor is happy.
There are other ways of improving your strength of course that are far easier. Riding a bike is a great form of exercise for your legs, and does not need to take much time out of your day, or maybe you could consider swimming – This is a wonderful form of exercise as it can combine all the best elements of the three main types and also a nice social experience as well.
So there you go, it is all fairly simple and there is no reason why you cannot live a normal life and have fun… But before you rush off to explore the next step in your new life with an exercise plan, remember this one last bit of advice!
Exercise should be fun… Not Torture! If the pain and discomfort is worse than the pain and stiffness you have normally… STOP! Your body is saying you are doing too much. Go back to your doctor and come up with a new plan.
Well, that should help you in planning exercises for your rheumatoid arthritis, keep safe and stay healthy!