Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Aerobic Exercise

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Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease you most definitely heard about even before you or someone close to you was diagnosed with it.

The reason you probably knew about it before this moment is related to the fact that this is one of the most commonly encountered diseases of the joints.

More than 1 million Americans only are affected by it and the number increases as you travel from one country to another.

Common as it may be, RA (as it is sometimes referred to) is not a completely elucidated mystery at all.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Aerobic Exercise

In fact, it is surrounded in a veil of mystery not even the most important researchers in the field have yet been able to uncover.

While scientists know for sure that this is an auto-immune disease (in which the patient’s immune system attacks its own cells, in this case the cells of the joints or other parts of the body as well), they do not know yet which the cause that leads to its development is.

Because the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not yet known, there is no actual cure for it. However, doctors will be able to prescribe a series of drugs to help you manage the pain and the symptoms of the disease. Starting with painkillers and going even to corticosteroids, there are a lot of drugs on the market designed to help you live your life as close to a healthy one as possible.

Furthermore, new advances are made every single day in the field and it may not be late until the scientists will discover an actual cure for RA.

Aerobic Exercise – Will it be Good for Your Arthritis?

In addition to the drugs he/she will prescribe you, the doctor will also recommend you a change in your lifestyle (which may or may not include weight loss if you need it). Exercising will have to be part of your life if you want to get as close as you can to being a healthy person.

Basically, any type of exercise you may feel attracted to can be beneficial, as long as you know how to do it. It is extremely important that you do not pick up any sport without professional advice both from a physician/ rheumatologist and from a specialized trainer who knows how to work with people with arthritis.

Aerobic exercises are popular not only among those suffering from RA, but among many other groups of people as well. If you feel attracted towards this sport, then you should know the fact that it can actually improve your life by a lot.

By practicing aerobics, you can feel better (physically and mentally), you can start moving better, your flexibility may start to improve, your muscles may get stronger (and your joints as well) and you may even lower the pain in the joints (which is most likely the most intense symptom you are experiencing at the moment).

Safety First – Practice Aerobics in a Safe Way

Because you suffer from a disease that affects your joints, you should never pick up a sport (any kind of sport, for that matter) without consulting with your doctor first. In some cases, you may be affected precisely in the areas that you have to use to practice those exercises (for example, your hands may be affected and you may want to do weight lifting).

Aerobics does not necessarily mean a specific routine and it can be any kind of exercise that boosts your cardio level. Walking, swimming, climbing stairs, Tai-Chi and many other things – they can all be considered aerobics as long as they make your heart pump faster.

It doesn’t matter to which you feel attracted the most, as long as you do talk to your physician first and as long as you maintain it at a low impact.

Aerobics sports that are based on slow, large motions tend to be better for your joints and for your flexibility, and Tai-Chi can be a great example of such a sport. However, if you want to pick up a different type of aerobics, you are free to do it as long as you do it in a safe way.

Furthermore, do keep in mind that you should not overdo it with your exercising and that you should let your body rest after each day of workout. Working out three times/ week may be good for you, but do remember to leave at least one day for resting in between the workout days.

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