Routine exercise is an important part of keeping rheumatoid arthritis symptoms under control. When it’s cold, rainy or snowy out during fall and winter, you might find it harder to stay active. During this time of year, the weather can make RA symptoms worse, so you should plan on getting indoor physical activity with one or more of the following exercises.
Tai chi is a form of exercise based on martial arts. When you do this activity, you can expect to practice a wide range of movements that are done slowly. Tai chi does not involve fast or intense movements as other forms of martial arts do, which makes it a good option for those who have rheumatoid arthritis. Since this form of martial arts also involves developing mental focus, it can also help ease stress, resulting in improved RA symptoms.
Yoga involves doing different poses that combine stretching and breathing techniques. This form of activity helps you improve your range of motion and keep your joints flexible. This can help ease joint stiffness, pain and other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Yoga’s emphasis on relaxation can also relieve stress and improve your mood, which can help lower your risk of RA flareups. Your doctor can let you know which types of yoga moves are safe for you to do.
Stretching is an effective way to loosen your joints and lower your risk of injuries while exercising. Simple stretches that can help ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include hamstring stretches and knee to chest stretches. Hamstring stretches involve lying on your back, lifting one leg at a time and holding it in the air for roughly 30 seconds. Knee to chest stretches involve lying on your back, pulling one knee at a time toward your chest and holding it in that position for about 30 seconds.
Muscle weakness can cause your joints to become more sore when you have RA. Building up your muscle strength can help ease this discomfort, which can allow you to do regular activities more easily. When your muscles are stronger, they’re better able to provide your joints with support. You can do strength training by lifting weights a few times each week or using resistance bands if you’re able to hold them firmly.
Walking on a Treadmill
Walking is a good form of regular physical activity that can ease joint stiffness and relieve soreness. When the weather isn’t ideal for walking outdoors, consider walking on a treadmill instead. Treadmills provide you with a convenient way to get the benefits of walking without having to deal with the cold or stormy weather. You can walk on a treadmill while watching TV as part of your daily routine.
The weather won’t always be on your side, but we always will be. If you are not already a patient of ACLKY, please speak with your primary doctor and obtain a referral for ACLKY today.