There is no doubt about it, an active body is a healthier body. When it comes to living with many autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, being active (in the right way) can greatly improve disease management. This means less pain and stiffness and more mobility. So, move it or lose it!
But…be careful! Overdoing it is just as bad as doing nothing at all, sometimes worse! There is no point in walking ten miles today and then having to spend 5 days recovering in bed. Daily movement is the key to healthy joints.
So, start small, be gentle with yourself, listen to your body, respect your limits, and as always, consult a trusted medical professional before beginning any exercise program.
A note on exercising with inflammatory autoimmune conditions. If you happen to suffer from one of the inflammatory autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatic, etc) it is important to treat flaring joints with care. The same movement that helps ease arthritic joints can damage inflamed joints that are experiencing a flare. Gentle range of motion, with low repetitions is the recommendation for inflamed joints.
Here are a few great links to seated stretches, exercises, and activities to get you started.
The following list includes several workouts designed specifically with RA in mind. A great starting point for anyone with angry inflamed joints.
Don’t need to sit? Start here for some great standing workouts. Ready to move on from seated workouts? Jump in below and get up and move!
A collection of workouts for specific symptoms and situations.
Do you have an autoimmune exercise routine? Please share what works for you!