exercise: Hello everybody, not been on here for a while... - NRAS

29,039 members34,546 posts



Hello everybody, not been on here for a while as am back at work now and dont seem to get much time to come on here as much as i did when i was off with my RA, anyway hope everyone is well. I have a question about exercise and wondered if anyone can help me. I have been on methrexate just over 7 weeks now, upto now seem to be working and have no pain in my feet and am walking as normal as i was before i started with RA which i am delighted about and am even back at work which is brilliant for me, however before all this started i used to exercise a bit such as walking long distances, running and sometimes in the gym but stopped due to my RA and the pain i was in especially in my foot, now i am eager to get along with exercise again and am just wondering if this is a sensible thing to do with RA and taking methrexate or if i start exercising too much will my arthritis return worse and the pain? hope people can answer this.

14 Replies

Take it easy and start of slow and see how you feel. Don't go to far and fast at the beginning. Your body will tell you when to stop. I hope you have some success with your exercise.



I would try something gentle like aqua aerobics or tai chi to start with, range of movement exercises are good also x

Hi louinna, nice to have you back.

The only one who can answer this is you however, my consultant and physio insist on me doing gentle stretching to maintain some muscle strength especially in my legs. I've actually turned my small bedroom into a gym with, vibro plate, rowing machine, air walker and easy rider.

If your used to exercise you'll know to take it slowly to start with and monitor your body closely.

I'd also advise having a word with your doctor/physio, but as long as you feel well enough to exercise I don't see why not.

Good luck and happy exercising.


I did go to 'open gym' at the hospital before my RA flared recently, I found it wonderful and physios were around if I got in a pickle! I don't know if I am correct, but I think low impact exercise is the way to go and maybe walking. I would phone your local physio department see if they have anything similar or can give advice, good luck x


Hi I'm really pleased you are doing well on the MTX - what dose are you up to now? I keep thinking I'm improving too and I think I must be to an extent because I've succeeded in completely dropping pain medicine and ibuprofen and nothing's significantly worsened. I am stiffer though and when I go for walks my knees are stiffer and start to ache sooner than they used to but so far not a proper flare.

Re exercise I swear by it. Everything kicked off with me in my knees and feet and now it's just wrists and hands. I don't know if this is just the nature of RA or whether it's because the first thing i did when my GP contacted me to say RA tests positive was to walk a lot more - and I mean proper marching/ power walking with the dog.

Then i dug out my son's Nintendo Wii and have worked out using the Fit programme for 30mins to an hour everyday. I haven't asked my GP or physio but wouldn't have used it when the joints were bad and I don't do any exercises that involve putting weight on my arms/ hands. I have graduated from gentle yoga to quite tricky stretches and lunges and balance stuff (Skiing) - at which I'm now told I'm an "exercise warrior" by my very fit looking Wii trainer!

It still shouts "obese - not good" when I do my body test so as a result I have avoided doing this bit since Xmas - but am hoping that with the combi of having radically changed my diet and doing these exercises, including jogging on the spot for ten minutes and step aerobics, I have so far staved off a return to joint pain in my lower half.

I am focusing on doing the equivalent with my upper half, especially hands now. Good luck and my advice to you is to start while you are feeling better and build up slowly to get your muscles strong so they can support your joints better when they are bad and resting is then important. TTx

Thankyou for your advice everybody, I have been swimming a few times and seem to if handled thus okay, so am going to attempt a short jog this week sometime. Thanks again for your help x

helixhelix in reply to louinna

Hi Louinna

Swimming is great, as is walking and cycling as they're all low impact. However I'd be a bit cautious about jogging especially if on hard surfaces, as this is much harder on joints in your legs. Best if you could speak to a physio first, but if you can't I'd really try to build up very slowly as if you haven't been jogging for a while you will have lost muscle tone. And it's the muscles that help protect your joints. But overall exercise is very good for RA'ers...just be gentle. Polly


Hi Louinna, great to hear your feeling better!

I joined curves gym last october and found it has really helped build up strength and also improved fatigue. If you haven;t heard of it they have a website, on it is a case study of a lady with RA and FMS.

I love the feeling after a session, having control again. It has not made joints worse whatsoever, the big difference for me is bending from knees and lifting.

It's a womans only gym with constant support if you need it, they measure and weigh you monthly to track progress. The girls are aware of my RA and made sure I took things slowly, now they can't believe the difference from when I started! My RA nurse (who also attends this gym) tells me it's a great way for us to excercise. It's taken RA to get me the firm thighs I never had before!! :)

I did check with doctor first. good luck x


I'm still in a very bad place with my ra, I struggle to walk, pain in lower back is unbearable just from standing for a few minutes.

However I still exercise as its important as they say use it or lose it.

My exercise is very different to pre ra though.

I now do gentle range off movement exercise, wheelchair based ti chi and hydrotherapy.

But I don't overdo it which is important, I do a little every day and I just listen to my body if I try to do too much I know about it. Basically its all about pacing.

Even on real bad flare days when I can't physically get out off bed, I lie there wiggling, streaching and moving whatever I can.

Good luck, and the only advise I can give is don't overdo it and be put off, build yourself up to something you can do everyday, even if it starts off at only 5 minutes a day.

Take care

Julie x


I have an exercise chart which I got a while ago from ARC which is now ARUK. Its called Keep Moving but I don't know if its still available. It has strength, flexibility and aerobic exercises. Its very helpful.

I looked on their website and they do a booklet about exercise which is free to download.

I agree, start slow and keep to low impact at first. I can't bear the thought of jogging on arthric feet bones! But I can still do dog walking on the local common.

Good luck!

I checked out Wiliby's suggestion of Curves gym and found that the one near me also has a Gentle Exercise Studio which is similar but all low impact so no bouncing around on sore joints, and specifically designed for people with problems (eg arthritis, very round people) and temporary exercise constraints (eg heavily pregnant). It's £5 a session with no long term membership fee, so I might give it a go.

Hidden in reply to helixhelix

Polly, you will love this place! I used to go to Curves, when it first started in my area. It is fun and really helps keep joints and muscles in good shape. But, now that I have no sense of balance, I can't go. I would fall right over. There are a few machines I could use, but they are only about 3 in the whole circle of equipment used. Go have fun. xxx Loret

Walking has helped my feet to feel better, and my knees too.

Louinna, if you haven't been exercising for awhile, you should start out slow, like walking and work yourself up to jogging/running.

Good luck,


You may also like...