Six Tips for Exercising with Rheumatoid Arthritis
The HealthCentral Editorial Team | May 10th 2013 Nov 14th 2016
Use ice before exercising
Cold can decrease pain and swelling and reduce muscle spasms. It blocks the release of histamine which decreases the feeling of pain. Cold packs, ice massage, and cold baths can help.
Use splints or braces to protect vulnerable joints.
Exercising in warm water can decrease the load on weight-bearing joints, such as hips and knees. Water provides support, assistance, and resistance.
Do range of motion stretches every day
Activities such as yoga and tai chi increase joint mobility. Doing range-of-motion exercises in the evening can reduce joint stiffness the next morning.
Walk, bike or swim for 10 minutes
You can do up to 120 minutes per week at low to moderate intensity. Aerobic exercise improves the health of heart and lungs.
Warm up and cool down
Build this time into your workout. Stretching exercises increase flexibility and the elasticity of muscles and tendons.