Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a debilitating condition that causes joint pain and stiffness. Sometimes the pain from RA alone is enough to slow you down and hinder your daily routine. But you don’t have to rely on medications alone to continue about your day, since certain natural remedies are available such as exercise.


Finger Exercises 

Because your hands are one of the more common places for RA to strike, finger exercises are beneficial to many who suffer from RA. This particular finger exercise starts by placing your hands flat on a surface. Lift each one of your fingers up and hold it while it’s elevated for about five seconds. Then, switch to your next finger and raise it. Continue this pattern until you’ve done all your fingers at least five times.

You may also want to try this fist exercise. Hold your hands in the air and fold your fingers toward the center of your palm. It should look as though you’re making a loose fist. Next, you should slowly open up your hand once again. Repeat this exercise a few times.



Hamstring Stretch

 Another commonly affected area is your knees. This can really complicate your daily routine, since you might have difficulty raising your legs to get dressed, or you may have difficulty walking. By doing hamstring stretches, you can keep your knees moving and relieve some of the pain those two leg joints feel. To begin doing a hamstring stretch, start with your back flat on the floor. Move one of your knees toward your chest slowly. Once your knee is close to your chest, hold this position for about 10 seconds and then release. Repeat the exercise about nine more times. Switch legs and repeat 10 times on that leg.



An elliptical trainer is a piece of exercise equipment that’s low impact, so it won’t put stress on your joints. An elliptical trainer works your arms and legs, so you won’t only be strengthening your legs and keeping your knees moving, but you’ll also be working your arms.


Water Aerobics

Despite the fact that water aerobics isn’t one specific exercise, this classification of exercise is beneficial to those with RA. The weightlessness of the water provides relief for your aching joints. The water not only supplies you with a low-impact exercise, but it helps to soothe your aching joints as well. The resistance of the water aids in strengthening your muscles, too. Check out your local gyms and fitness centers to inquire about their water aerobics classes. You could opt for water aerobics DVDs instead of attending a class.



Stair Stepping 

If you don’t have an aerobic step, you can opt to use your home stairs. This exercise entails you lifting your leg and positioning it on the step. You should then do the same with your other leg. Once you’re on the step, you should move both your legs back to the ground, one at a time. Continue doing this exercise with about 10 to 15 repetitions.


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