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Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis with Exercise

By — One of many Arthritis blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com

Relieving Symptoms By Restoring Strength

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can lead to limited mobility, pain, soreness, and stiff joints. In order to relieve these symptoms, it is necessary to restore the strength back into your bones and muscles. Exercise is the most effective way to build up the movement in the areas arthritis has restricted, while improving your overall health in the process. The following are excellent forms of exercise that will help you stay active and reduce the negative effects of arthritis.

Stretching

Slow and simple stretching allows blood to circulate to your muscles, and it loosens them. Reach over your head, to your sides, and rotate and revolve your shoulders and neck. Begin with very slow movements and try to hold the positions for 10-30 seconds before releasing them. Stretching is recommended as a warm-up for other exercises, and it also works to bring flexibility to stiff joints. In addition to the stretches described above, you can exercise your hand by slowly opening and closing it, and making a fist. Move your wrists back and forth and pay attention to how your joints react. There should never be any pain, so stop immediately at the first sign of discomfort.

Cardio Activities

Whether you have arthritis or not, regular physical activity plays an integral part in the longevity and the quality of life you live. If you have arthritis, even more emphasis is placed on cardio exercises because they ensure that your heart, lungs, and arteries are all functioning at an optimal level. As a result, you will experience an increase in energy and a better outlook in general. Plus, these activities can be fun and relieving for arthritis pain.

Walking or bicycle riding is a great place to start with your cardio workout. Both should be done slowly at first, and for short periods of time until your endurance is established.

Choose exercises that have a low impact on your joints and are not stressful. For better joint relief, swimming or walking in warm water does a tremendous job of relaxing your body. Depending on the severity of your arthritis, you may have to start by just sitting or soaking in the water.

An average of 20-30 minutes of aerobic or cardio exercise per day is a goal to work up to over time. Rest in between and take a day off from exercising after each session. Generally, some type of activity three to four days each week is ideal, and you do not have to do all 30 minutes at once. In fact, performing shorter sessions of 10-15 minutes will boost your metabolism and burn calories.

Strength Training

Stronger muscles and bones will support you and make it much easier for you to move. This dramatically improves your mobility and independence. Resistance training can be performed with or without weights and uses a variety of fundamental exercises. Heavy weight training is not advised for arthritis patients without a doctor's approval. Instead, provide the resistance to your muscles with light weights or weight-free movements.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/exercise-and-rheumatoid-arthritis

http://www.arthritis.org/exercise-intro.php


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