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Exercise is essential to supporting a healthy metabolism and burning more calories per day. Being active has both physical and mental benefits for patients suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Finding the time, energy, and motivation to start exercising can be extremely difficult for RA patients especially when they are going through a lot of pain.

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Patients with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) tend to have less pain when they exercise than others who do not. Exercise can help improve your joint function, make you feel healthier, and is good for your muscles and bones. Exercises also prevent muscle weakness.

Examples of exercises for people living with pain:

Swimming: Joint pain can be debilitating and can hinder a person from having a productive day. However, hydrotherapy can help reduce such pains. Patients with Rheumatoid arthritis show positive improvements in health after participating in hydrotherapy. They experience less pain, and joint tenderness, which improves their mood and their well-being. Others like water aerobics help affected joints and reduce pain.

Meditation in Motion: Exercises like Tai Chi by the Chinese can also improve muscle function and stiffness and also decreases pain and stress levels. According to research, a series of gentle physical exercises and stretches ensures that your body is in constant motion. It promotes serenity through gentle movementsconnecting the mind and body.

Bike Riding: Bike riding helps to maintain sound cardiovascular health, improves joint mobility, decreases body fat levels, and increases muscle strength and flexibility. Bike riding is a low-impact form of exercise for all ages and it works perfectly on the joints.

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Stretching: Stretching can help RA Patients in so many ways by improving flexibility, reducing stiffness, and relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms. Stretches involve moving the joints of the knees, hands, and elbows slowly and gently.

Walking: Walking helps with aerobic conditioning, heart, joint health, and mood. Start your walk slowly and then increase your pace when possible; it will improve your overall health and strength.

Hand Exercises: A patient with body pains and arthritis will at a point lose their grip and strength to hold things. Hand and finger exercises can help strengthen your hands and fingers, increase your range of motion and give you pain relief. Some hand exercises include: making a first, finger stretch, claw stretch, grip strengthening, finger lift, thumb flex, thumb touch, thumb extension, and thumb stretches.

Whichever exercise you choose to do, you need to maintain a steady routine. Rest when you are tired and reduce your pace whenever you feel much pain. Try weight lifting two or three times a week. Consult your doctor if the pains persist.

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This article was first published on 10th April 2022


Ohia, Ernest Chigaemezu is a writer, editor, and grade teacher based in Jos, Nigeria.

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