It may seem like you can’t do anything when you have arthritis, which is partially true, but only until you let yourself believe it. Moving around keeping yourself active is the key to combatting the symptoms that come with it.
Healthcare experts at emeds Pharmacy recommend exercise for people with arthritis as it reduces joint pain, increases strength and flexibility, and helps fight exhaustion.
The idea of getting up and working as your joints are throbbing may seem overwhelming, but who said you need to run a marathon?
You will find moderately intense exercises doing an equally fine job easing your pain and maintaining a healthy weight.
Healthcare professionals consistently try to debunk the myth that increased activity can cause sore joints. Exercising tones the muscles surrounding your joints to help ease the stress on them. Not exercising will cause the opposite.
Moreover, some people with arthritis often keep their joints bent, which may feel comfortable but can cause a further loss in mobility due to maintaining the same posture for long periods.
This is also why exercising those joints is necessary. However, it is also crucial that you find a comfortable pace that provides comfort instead of triggering flares.
As a first step, consult your doctor regarding the routine you wish to follow and start with the following exercises:
- Yoga: According to professionals, yoga eases the symptoms of RA (rheumatoid arthritis). Studies showed that individuals who practised postures with breathing and relaxation techniques included in yoga reported improved pain and mood. Furthermore, people doing yoga regularly experienced fewer flares and swollen joints than they did before practising yoga.
- Stretching: Stretching helps reduce stiffness, increase flexibility and range of motion. Incorporating stretching in your daily routine is important in relieving RA symptoms.
- However, stretching is different for everybody; you need to find a routine that helps ease your particular symptoms. Be gentle with your joints and stretch slowly.
? Do not forget to warm up, either by walking or doing warm-up exercises.
? Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds, then release it.
? Repeat every stretch 2-3 times. To get a proper form while stretching, you can use a yoga strap or a similar alternative.
- Walking: Walking is pretty easy as compared to other exercises and is a low-impact one.
Keeping in mind your relationship with arthritis, you must be particular about the type of shoes you wear for this activity. Do not forget to properly hydrate yourself even if walking is not as exhaustive. Moreover, try walking slowly on flat surfaces first and then increase your speed and move towards a little more strenuous grounds. If you are having trouble balancing, start the activity indoors or on a treadmill or with support. Once you feel like you can go outdoors, have a pleasant walk in the park.
- Water exercises: Ever heard of it? It’s just a fancy name for swimming and a couple of other activities you could do in the water. Doctors recommend these because water helps support body weight as it reduces gravity. This makes water exercises low-impact on joints.
Swimming and other low-impact water exercises are linked with increasing flexibility, strength and range of motion. They can also reduce joint stress and stiffness. Hydrotherapy, exercising in warm water, shows even more promising results. However, To be entirely sure about the exact benefits of water exercises, more research is needed.
- Cycling: Arthritis, specifically RA, can increase the threat of cardiovascular diseases, making the patients go the extra mile to keep their hearts healthy. Cycling helps improve cardiovascular function.
Whether it be indoor stationary cycling or getting a little fresh air outside, cycling is a completely safe way to maintain your heart’s health. It can also ease those arthritis-fighting stiff joints, increase your range of motion, build endurance and strengthen your muscles.
- Strength training: Strengthening the muscles surrounding your affected joints is a great way to reduce your pain and ease other symptoms. To achieve better results and maintain comfort at the same time, people often use resistance bands to challenge their bodies.
Weight training is a strengthening exercise that can help both regulate and increase your muscle force. But avoid working out the same muscles (glutes, abs, etc.) twice in a row and if your experience painful or swollen joint after your workout it is better to rest an entire day. Start with a two-day workout routine and once you feel in control, increase it to three times a week. However, according to experts, twice a week is more than okay too.
- Hand exercises: Most of the exercises mentioned in this article primarily focus more on large muscles. This often leads to not concentrate on the smaller parts of your body, which is essential when you are an arthritis patient. Your grip can start to weaken with time.
Bend your wrists up and down, slowly curl your fingers, spread your fingers wide on a table, and squeeze a stress ball. These activities can help improve strength and flexibility in your hands. Exercising requiring some balance, such as yoga, can also contribute to the betterment of your symptoms.
- Gardening: Working in between plants? What more could one want?! Experts consider light gardening a beneficial exercise for those with arthritis.
Make sure you are gentle with your muscles and work slowly to avoid overstraining yourself. Avoid bending and twisting your lower back more than necessary.
- Range-of-motion exercises: These can relieve stiffness and enhance your ability to move your joints with their complete range of motion. Your routine can include lifting your arms over your head or rolling your shoulders forward and then backwards. If you feel comfortable, try doing these exercises daily.
If you wish to see desirable results, consistency is the key. Be regular with your routine and indulge in the ones that do not make you feel overworked. You should also be particular about the accessory you are using; your comfort is your priority as an arthritis patient.