Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Findings on the Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Exercise

Many rheumatoid arthritis patients suffer from so much stiffness, pain and (amongst other symptoms) fatigue, that they tend to avoid exercise and movement. Sooner or later they may tend to avoid stairs and even avoid walking altogether, becoming increasingly sedentary and immobile. This may be thought as inevitable and even necessary: however, a new, reputable January 2012 study has found that lack of physical activity is an extremely detrimental attitude for those who suffer from this joint disease. Thus, appropriate forms of exercise may well spare your body from further damage or at least contribute to postponing health crises due to this self-attacking illness.

Even though in the past doctors used to recommend plenty of rest to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, it is now becoming clear that physical activity is in fact much more important, even essential; unfortunately this new study has also found that almost half of those affected tend to be very sedentary, to the point of risking dire consequences.

Unlike common belief, it has now been shown that being physically active is key to maintaining joint flexibility, joint movement, joint strength and even to keep stiffness and pain at bay, and that this is true for all ages. Whilst it may be wise to rest your joint during a flare up (the acute, temporary phases of rheumatoid arthritis), as soon as symptoms are back to being 'chronic rather than acute', sufferers must resume or start appropriate physical activity on a daily basis. Appropriate exercise is generally understood to be moderate but regular, such as cycling, swimming (the best activity for those whose rheumatoid arthritis is severe) and brisk walking.

It is understanding that, whilst one feels pain and stiffness (and often fatigue), the most desired choice of action is rest and the minimization of physical activity; however, resuming or beginning a regime of moderate exercise, to be undertaken daily for one hour (or at least for about 10 minutes several times a day) is essential for joint health. Moreover, since rheumatoid arthritis often affects your heart health, keeping oneself physically active, undertaking regular exercise, is essential to minimize the already present risk of heart disease.

So, if you can, it is important to put your wheelchair aside and start physical activity: this will not only help your joints but also increase the chances of having better cardiovascular health, now and in the long term. The key is to find the appropriate type of exercises for you..

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