Running the Sedentary Out of Rheumatoid Arthritis Living

2009-11-12 | |
Last updated: 2009-11-12

What Types Of Exercise Are Best For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients?

So given that exercise is good for those with RA and in some ways even more important than for those without the condition, you might ask for which exercises to do to best maintain your health. From a number of studies, some of the exercises that were analyzed include:

  • strength training with weights
  • walking
  • jogging
  • bicycle riding at 70-90% of maximum heart rate
  • a number of low impact sports like badminton, soccer, etc.

In addition to these exercises, some research has been performed on other activities that Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers might specifically try.

  • Swimming – research from Sahlgrenska University Hospital found that those with RA exercising in a pool twice per week over 12 weeks were able to significantly improve the endurance of their extremities. They were also able to improve the gripping force of their hands.
  • Gripping Exercises – published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, researchers found that people with RA who performed hand gripping exercises regularly for 6 weeks were able to significantly increase their hand strength and the use of their hands.
  • Tai Chi – although this martial art of slow controlled movement has been found to benefit those with osteoarthritis, several research articles, including one published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, have found that Tai Chi offers no such benefit in terms of muscle strength or joint flexibility


The preceding list represents a number of possible options for adding exercise to the lives of those with RA. Whatever exercise you take up, it is important to talk to your rheumatologist about what exercises you can safely do before starting. For many with the condition, the first movements of the morning are the most difficult as the joints can swell and stiffen considerably overnight so consider warming up slowly or exercising later in the day to reduce the discomfort and pain of putting yourself in motion.

Are you someone with RA who is thinking about exercise or is active regularly? Consider sharing your thoughts or successes with others in the Rheumatoid Arthritis Forum.

Related Links:

Pages: 1 2 3

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Disease Information, Health Risks, Medical Research

Comments are closed.