Video Q & A:

Exercise

Question:

How can I exercise with rheumatoid arthritis?

Expert:   Harry D. Fischer, MD, Chief of Rheumatology, Beth Israel Medical Center New York »

There are 3 types of exercise that a rheumatoid arthritis patient should perform on a regular basis. Watch this video to find out what they are.

Transcript: I know that for people with rheumatoid arthritis, the idea of exercise is overwhelming. But if you want to keep your symptoms at bay, you’ll have to start! So, the key is to start out slow. Begin with stretching exercises, THEY’LL help your joints stay flexible and make your daily tasks easier. Examples include the chest & arm stretch [PHOTO or B-ROLL] or the seated hamstring stretch. Try to do these exercises about 3 days a week. Keep up with this, and you’ll graduate to strengthening exercises. Strong muscles will support and reduce the stress placed on your painful joints. This, in turn, cuts down on your bone loss. Perform these exercises with weights, elastic bands, or with a weight machine. Gradually increase the weight as you develop more endurance. Perform one set of 8 to 10 exercises a few times a week. Aerobic exercise is ALSO a great idea for people with RA. This exercise will help keep your weight down and improve your overall health. Simply go for a brisk walk, join a dance class, start swimming or hop on an elliptical trainer. In general, you should exercise MORE when you’re feeling healthy, and cut BACK during a flare. BUT, don’t OVERWORK your joints OR fall back into inactivity. Head to your doctor or physical therapist for MORE information on exercising with RA. And watch more videos in this series for more answers to your joint pain questions. More »

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