If you have recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, maybe you think you’re doomed to a lifetime of pain and discomfort. The truth is that many people live long and full lives, even while living with rheumatoid arthritis. But if you truly want to thrive despite your diagnosis, chances are you’ll have to reconsider your lifestyle choices. Living a healthy lifestyle is of course recommended for all. But it becomes even more important if you are a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer.
One important thing you should do is to learn to respond to your body. You should become aware of when you feel joint stiffness the most. Make a note of when you feel joint discomfort. You will have to learn to test and set your limits. By paying attention to how your body reacts to certain physical activities, you will learn to avoid overexertion.
Another important thing to keep your body healthy and pain-free is to do some kind of regular physical activity. Think of exercise as an important part of your treatment. Many research studies have shown that some form of regular physical activity can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Regular exercise can also help increase your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, reduce your fatigue, and provide you with an overall feeling of well being. Don’t be afraid of exercise or trying new physical activities because of your rheumatoid arthritis. For the most part, you’ll be fine as long as you learn to read your body’s signs and avoid overexertion. There are three general types of exercises that are well suited to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. They are: flexibility exercises, cardio or aerobic exercises, and strengthening exercises. Yoga and Pilates are good examples of exercises that can substantially gently increase your range of motion. Running, walking, and bicycling are excellent aerobic exercises that are good for your heart and overall joint health. Water exercises in particular are good for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers because it increases your flexibility while increasing your strength.
Before you begin an exercise program, make certain to speak with your health care provider. As a rheumatoid arthritis patient, your doctor may be able to prescribe specific exercises that can help alleviate your symptoms. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a physical therapist that you can work with.
Another very important facet of taking care of your self has to do with eating well. Eating well not only helps you get the right nutrients, but also to maintain a healthy weight. This is particularly important for good joint health. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Low fat dairy products and lean proteins are also important for preserving bone integrity. Make certain that you are getting enough of the right nutrients, including vitamin c and calcium. If you suspect you may not be getting enough of these nutrients, pay a visit to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe specific supplements that will help combat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.