8 Tips for Exercising With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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1 / 9   Exercising With RA

Getting plenty of exercise is an important part of coping with rheumatoid arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness, make you more flexible, improve your sleep, and boost your endurance. An exercise program should include stretching, aerobic exercises, and strengthening routines, says Marian Minor, PT, PhD, a clinical professor in the division of immunology and rheumatology at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Health Professions, who focuses onexercise in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

2 / 9   Start Stretching

People with rheumatoid arthritis can take different approaches to stretching, Minor says. You might stretch before exercise or physical activity to prepare your muscles and joints for the activity. For example, if you’re going to garden, you might want to stretch your hips, knees, and ankles. Or you might stretch after your exercises to prevent stiffness, or “if you have particular joints that get stiff or have limited motion, you might want to add something to your regular exercise routine that works on those,” she says.

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