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3 BEST Exercises For Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you are like me the mornings and evenings are the most painful times of the day with my RA. With achy stiff joints, exercise is the last thing on my mind.
Every Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor I know will tell you the more active you are the better it is for your RA. Depending on how severe your flare-up is on any given day will most likely determine the type of activity you’re going to be able to do. These 3 best exercises for rheumatoid arthritis are my go-to’s.
Swimming is second nature to me. I grew up swimming from the time I turned 5 years old up until today! For me, it doesn’t matter how bad my flare is, once I get into the pool the water feels so good on my joints.
If you are a swimmer, swim some laps. Grab a kickboard and stretch your arms and/or legs as well as your hands on the board.
If you’re not a lap swimmer, do some water walking or join a water aerobics class. And if you don’t swim at all, take lessons!
Swimming is the best exercise for rheumatoid arthritis because it is a low impact exercise. You won’t be jarring your knees or any of your joints for that matter on a hard surface. This is also one of the best exercises for rheumatoid arthritis. Water provides a nice buoyancy.
If possible use a warm water pool for maximum relief of your RA pain. If your pool isn’t a warm water pool, hop into the hot tub after your swim and do some warm water stretching from a sitting position. Look for a pool that has easy access like a ramp to enter and exit the pool. Suggested basic items needed include a comfortable swimsuit. I prefer a one-piece suit with the racer back, as they provide comfort and a good range of motion, like this one. I also prefer the Lycra swim cap like this one. The Lycra caps are easily put on and easy to remove. Goggles and a towel.
Yoga is also one of the best exercises for rheumatoid arthritis. There are many benefits including; improvement in the range of motion, flexibility, strengthening as well as stress relief or mental wellbeing! Yoga is also an exercise that is easy on the joints and can feel so good when you’re able to stretch. Yoga can improve pain and mood! Basic essentials for your yoga practice can include; yoga attire like this women’s tank top and these yoga pants. You will also need a yoga mat and towel.
And finally, of the 3 best exercise for rheumatoid arthritis, walking is great! Walk with a friend. Walking is going to strengthen the muscles that support your joints, help alleviate stress and can help reduce blood pressure. Start slow! Please don’t go from no exercise to a mile or more hike and expect to feel great. Overdoing any exercise, in the beginning, can lead to a painful recovery. Try to walk on flat surfaces versus hills in the beginning. Short distances versus long distances and don’t hesitate to take breaks. Wear comfortable shoes with good support. With all exercises, don’t forget to HYDRATE!
What are your best exercises for rheumatoid arthritis? I would love to hear them in the comments below!