People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and chronic joint pain are often advised to do mild exercise to help strengthen their body. But this can be quite difficult when even simple movements like walking can cause discomfort and even pain. This article can point you towards the safest and most comfortable exercises. However, do talk about your options with your doctor, who should give the final go-ahead based on your health goals and concerns.
The water can help support your body, so you won’t be straining yourself. Ideally you should swim in a heated pool, of temperatures from 83 to 88 degrees F. Many fitness centers also have certified instructors who can design a program specifically for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
Aerobics programs are quite varied, so go to a center with a certified instructor who can design a safe routine for you. Avoid any fast and repetitive routines that can stress certain joints. Also consider any other health concerns such as heart disease. Your best bet is a low-impact routine with varied movements that use different muscle groups—it’s also more interesting than just stepping up and down!
Strength and Flexibility Exercise
This type of exercise will help strengthen your joints and improve its shock absorption. Over time you will be able to complete every day activities with less effort and pain. A certified instructor can help design a program for you. Common activities include rotating the shoulders, bending wrists, stretching calves, and curling the thumb and finger. Always do this under the supervision of a trainer and with the approval of your doctor.
The gentle movements of tai chi will help you strengthen your joints without straining them. Many also find this exercise very relaxing and even meditative. Tai chi is also grounded on good energy flow within the body, which (according to Eastern medicine) can help manage pain and control disease. (Read more tips on how to manage arthritis pain.)
Photo from kungfupages.com