Dealing With Rheumatoid Arthritis Through Fitness

Dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis through Fitness: Top 10 Exercises For Rheumatoid Arthritis

1. Push Ups – A good exercise for strengthening your arms and shoulders.

You can do push ups while sitting or standing up. If you are not strong enough to do push ups, then try doing them lying down on the floor.

2. Squats – Another great exercise for strengthening your legs and core muscles.

Try squatting while holding onto something like a wall.

3. Deadlifts – Another excellent exercise for building up your lower body.

Lie face down on the ground and lift yourself up using only your upper body muscles. Do dead lifts slowly at first until you get used to it before progressing to faster reps and heavier weights.

4. Pull Ups – One of the best exercises for developing grip strength and endurance in general.

Hold pull ups for time.

5. Kegels – Make sure to keep your pelvic floor muscles firm during these exercises.

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Use a partner if possible so that you don’t hurt yourself too much.

6. Planks – Sit on the edge of a chair or bed and hold one side of your body steady while keeping the other leg straight and slightly bent at the knee (like plank).

Repeat on opposite side for 20 times each side.

7. Crunches – These are great for strengthening the abdominals and lower back muscles.

Hold a weight on your chest for more resistance.

8. Step-Ups – Stand on a low platform or a step and bring one foot up to the level of your other leg without letting your heel touch the ground.

Do this 20 times on each side.

9. Walking – Walking or jogging are natural ways to build endurance.

Try to do brisk walking for 30-45 minutes a day for best results. Remember to stay hydrated while doing so.

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10. Resistance Bands – These bands are good for doing squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, and other arm and leg exercises while traveling or away from your usual equipment.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercises To Avoid

1. Lifting Heavy Weights – While your friends might be lifting heavy weights at the gym, you will not be able to do this without risking increased joint damage and pain.

Focus on bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, planks, crunches, and squats instead.

2. Jogging – While some types of exercise are good for rheumatoid arthritis, jogging might actually be harmful to your joints.

3. Bouncing Exercises – Activities that involve a lot of jumping or bouncing are also dangerous with this condition.

This includes things like basketball and soccer.

4. Twisting Exercises – Twisting can put extra strain on the already inflamed joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis.

This includes things like golf and tennis.

Dealing With Rheumatoid Arthritis Through Fitness - GYM FIT WORKOUT

5. Strenuous Physical Activity – While exercise in general is good, pushing yourself too hard is not a good idea with rheumatoid arthritis.

This can cause you to overdo it and possibly cause an injury which can then lead to a flare up of your symptoms.

6. Dangerous Activities – Things like contact sports are very dangerous when you have rheumatoid arthritis and should be avoided altogether.

7. Muscle Cramps – Stretching is good but if you’re prone to muscle cramps in your legs and arms (due to the neuropathy) then doing certain stretches can cause painful cramping of the muscles, therefore it’s better to avoid some stretches altogether.

8. Certain Workouts – Some workouts such as Crossfit can be too taxing on the body and should be avoided if you have RA, especially since exercise and over-all fitness are still very important.

9. Long Distance Running – While long distance running is discouraged for almost everyone it is especially true for those of us with rheumatoid arthritis.

This is because it puts more strain on the body which can cause a flare up of symptoms and pain.

10. Staying Grounded – One way to avoid falling or experiencing greater injury from a fall, when you have rheumatoid arthritis, is to try to stay grounded as much as possible. This means not trying to do pull-ups or other upper body exercises which require you to hang from a bar because your grip strength could give out and you could fall. You should also avoid climbing ropes since this can put unnecessary strain on your joints.

In conclusion, these are the 10 best exercises with rheumatoid arthritis and 10 exercises to avoid. As always, if you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below and we will be sure to answer them ASAP!

Nutrition and Diet with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Just as there are some exercises that are more beneficial than others for people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, there are also certain diets that will help quite a bit. Here they are:

1. Eat Low Fat and Low Cholesterol – Studies have shown that eating a low fat diet with low cholesterol can significantly reduce the pain associated with RA.

This is because eating a low fat and low cholesterol diet decreases the level of inflammation in the body.

2. Avoid Foods That Are High in Saturated Fats – While fats in general should be kept to a minimum, saturated fats should be avoided altogether.

This is because they can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks which are very dangerous for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Avoid Sugars and Starches – While this tip may seem like a no-brainer, many people with RA tend to eat foods that are high in sugars and starches.

This is because these types of food can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body which can then lead to painful RA flares.


Sources & references used in this article:

Dealing With Rheumatoid Arthritis Through Fitness by A Larsen –

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Effects of spouse-assisted coping skills training and exercise training in patients with osteoarthritic knee pain: a randomized controlled study by FJ Keefe, J Blumenthal, D Baucom, G Affleck, R Waugh… – Pain, 2004 – Elsevier

Social support, social integration, and health-related quality of life over time: Results from the Fitness and Arthritis in Seniors Trial (FAST) by FIMS Grace

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Patient perceptions of rheumatoid arthritis by ML Potter, JA Zauszniewski – Journal of Holistic Nursing, 2000 –

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Joint Fitness Programme for Arthritic Patients–The Value of Patient-reported Outcome Measures in Designing a Tailored Approach to Patient Education by CA Flurey, S Hewlett, K Rodham, A White… – Arthritis care & …, 2018 – Wiley Online Library