7 Simple Tips to Stay Active With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is an inflammatory, long-term condition that affects your body’s tissues and sometimes, organs. RA can occur at any age but will most likely affect women in their middle age. What’s interesting and also confusing about RA is that if you have this disease, your body basically attacks itself. However, there are things that you could do to slow down the decline.
Research studies found that exercise is a great cure for RA, and it can affect women’s bodies positively. To be more exact, exercise can alleviate the pain and release stiffness of the joints. It can also reduce fatigue and depression. Stretching is an important part of the process, so including it in your daily exercise practice is a must.
Here are some of the best tips on how to stay active at home during COVID-19. Maybe you can’t hit the gym anymore, but you sure as hell can get on that yoga mat and practice the next exercises.
Stretching is your go-to
To release tension within your body and live more happily, you ought to stretch. Stretching improves your moving ability and range of motion. It can also reduce inflammation and enhance your body’s flexibility. Here are some of the things to be aware of when engaging in a regular stretching practice:
- Always warm-up before starting your actual stretching practice either by standing up or by sitting on your yoga mat. The warmup shouldn’t last longer than 5 minutes.
- Try to hold each one of your stretching positions for more than 10 seconds. You could go as long as one minute, if you feel that you can.
- Use straps to stretch even deeper. Repeat your stretches as many times as necessary.
If you feel like you need to work with a physical therapist, do that. Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing. Check your progress weekly to see if you’ve improved.
Another good way to keep your body in shape is walking. This low-impact exercise can help your heart and joints. It can also improve your mood and boost serotonin levels. If you feel like you can, try walking somewhere new every day. Do not settle for the same route each day. Being spontaneous and curious can keep your mind in shape too! This, along with your daily walks, can lengthen your life by many years.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated and wear appropriate shoes when walking. Make sure you’re comfortable before going out the door. Increase your walking pace each day or week, depending on how you feel.
Pilates is another form of a low-impact activity that keeps your body in good shape. You can sign up for a Pilates class to see how you’re doing and go from there. Make sure you’re not practicing exercises that hurt your muscles too much. Go for the exercises that you’re comfortable performing and add something new to your practice as you go. Don’t forget to let the instructor know that you have RA. They’ll most likely know what to recommend.
Yoga or Tai-Chi
Yoga helps with stretching; tai-chi helps with concentration. They’re both great for you, especially if you’ve been struggling with RA for a while. Yoga combines various postures and helps you become more aware of your breathing. This can be extremely important when dealing with heavy pain. Tai-chi on the other hand brings more focus to your body movements. This can be helpful when struggling with muscle functioning.
The bottom line is that both yoga and tai-chi can have a beneficial impact on your life. They increase focus, flexibility, balance, and improve your overall body-mind connection. This can help you develop a more positive outlook on life and thus, live more confidently.
The great thing about water is that it supports your body weight, so you don’t have to worry about breaking any bones. Moreover, it will take away your joint pain, according to the CDC. You’ll also feel less stiff when exercising in the water. You could try swimming, water dancing, aerobics, or any other type of water exercises that you find fit. Hydrotherapy is highly recommended for patients suffering from RA.
However, if you don’t have an indoor pool at home, you might not be able to engage in such activities. However, most senior assisting facilities provide access to swimming pools, so you might want to check some of them out.
You can spend time gardening each day instead of engaging in other types of exercise. Gardening is in itself considered exercise. You’ll work your hands, body, and back for sure. Just make sure you’re not struggling to get everything done in one day. Gardening can be tiring, so don’t risk hurting your joints or muscles. Take it slow, at your own pace, and watch the outcomes unfold each day!
Biking can help your heart stay in good shape. It can also keep you active and healthy! It is a great way to move your muscles and joints and travel from one place to another more actively. Biking it’s been proven to reduce joint stiffness and build muscular strength, which is exactly what you need if you’ve been diagnosed with RA.
Make sure you are consistent in your practice to see real-time results. Stay comfortable, don’t force yourself, but stay as active as you can. Adjust your exercises according to your needs. Push only as much as you can, never force it. You got this!
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