Exercise and RA: Hi everyone, can anybody recommend... - NRAS


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Exercise and RA


Hi everyone, can anybody recommend some sort of exercise? I have tried tai chi and now I cannot stand up long enough to take a class, I tried swimming but I seem to catch all the bugs in the pool, I tried walking but find even a short walk exhausting. I want to do something to keep my joints moving if I can but really cannot think what else to try. Ax

13 Replies

Hi A

Have a look for the blog bouncing bouncing, one of the girls swears by it

you may have to try and borrow one from somewhere just in case



try to find a 45min tai chi or a symapthetic instructor like mine.

. when more well used to try zumba but arranged to leave after 30/35 min from class, most gyms have a thing called a cross trainer its non weight bearing you move handles to move arms and feet are on large boatlike paddles and it simulates a wealking action.. find somwere with qualified staff who can advise.. I go to holiday inn chain when well enough qualifed staff. roman steps and rail to pool, rail to jacuzzi qualified staff !!. older clientel no posers.. see if your local holiday inn has a spirit health club with pool and gym etc . if not some were like la fitness, fitness first. virgin etc...these could be more expensive but should have qaulified staff too!!


i have a blog on exercise go to tags find exercise under e. tia steph has a blog on usuing a pt rebounder..mini trampoline too.. exercise v individual one size doesnt fit all I can swim but hate it good luck xx

I think you should do what your body tells you. When you feel like it take a short stroll, otherwise feet up when you feel like this. I am quite active but there has been times when I felt like you do - This is my opinion and I do think exercise is good for you, but some people (mainly who do not have RA or arthritis) push the need for exercise at us. It actually is one of my pet hates!! Walk for arthritis etc etc - sometimes when you have RA walk to make a cup of tea, is as much as you can do. Moving around your house is exercise. When you feel a bit better swimming is the best even if you just move in water. I think the bouncing idea is great and I am going to try it, but as have said there has been times if someone suggested bouncing to me I might have bounced them off the wall!!! So take it easy, ie. when time is right start small a walk around the block. xxx.

Tricia-P in reply to Gina_K

Gina you did make me laugh, but you are right there is always something being pushed like walking, or even knees up as I saw on the physio's notice board I couldn't knees up I'd be flat on my back if I tried anything like that:) I did have a spell of doing aquafit as the water supports you but the entry to the pool is by ladder so I won't be able to get out if I even managed to get in !!! not a pretty sight seeing me stuck in the pool like a beached whale.



I find that hydrotherapy is the best excersice for me however I only walk and do a few movements in the water usually 30 mins but some times I cant even stand when I get out off the pool, if I have been struggling to sleep it certainly helps because when I get home from hydro I can sleep for hours.

Take care and just do what your body lets you do, I can sometimes only do hydro twice a month but like Gina says walking to the kettle can be more than enough to do.

Julie x


i havent exercised for almost a month.. it is only something for a good patch lol.. hence 1 stone 9lb weight gialn due to inexercise, steroids, and a little comfort eating, think when I went back to tai chi no one other than the instuctor recognised ne its been over a month on reflection|!! winter 2010 nras magazine has an article on exercise...


Ask for a physio and O/T referral - I've found them really helpful and they will know where there are hydrotherapy pools etc. Hydrotherapy is completely different from a normal swimming pool - much warmer, easy access and without tons of germy school kids using it! I haven't caught any bugs from hydro-pool :-)

I agree with Gina - listen to your body. When I'm really incapacitated I do nothing, rest, step-up pain meds etc - when I'm having a better day/week I step down the pain meds and step up my activity. There is a very good ARC leaflet (free from sight as a download) that has a set of Range of Movement exercises - these are very gentle and I try to do them in bed before getting up the only exception to this is that I don't do them when I'm having a flare.

Cece x


Hi, this is what is puzzling me now. Having been told I am normal - well Ra speaking - I feel I want to start rebuilding the old saggy muscles. I think I am going to just try swimming. I have found a pool not far away does a over 50's morning - sorry if you are younger - and for £3.65 you can do all four types of exercise or just one, which includes water aerobics, just swimming, pilates/stetch classes or use of the gym. So I thought that would be ok because I could just do what I felt I could. It think water exercise has got to be good where your are using your muscles but being supported by the water. as Julie says, hydrotherapy.

I am going to get me a PT bouncer too, like the sound of that.

Good luck. Has luck with the support down there, I am in North Devon but too far away

Julie xx


First off, you shouldnt do any exercise without speaking to your dr, ideally a specialist physiotherapist first.

Get them to teach you the "full rotation". You should be doing this daily.

I can also recommend hydrotherapy with a physio programme.

I have recently discovered "Just Dance" on the Wii. Not only is it great fun, leg use is optional and it is FUN! There are different ones to try, Just Dance, Just Dance 2 and there is a Broadway one too.

My family love doing this with me.

Give it a go! :-)

I swear by pilates. I even go on my bad days because I feel better at the end of it. A lot of the exercises are done lying down. Make sure you tell your instructor about your RA and they will be able to adapt things (eg. I have problems with my wrists so when we do exercises on all fours I support my weight through my elbows using foam blocks, and on bad days she substitutes these exercises for more I can do lying down). Also take things at your pace - I don't use weights and sometimes do less repititions.

Pilates is very good for gently stretching muscles and improving strength without any impact on your joints.


i do callanetics,have done for years but dont always get to the middle never mind the end of the dvd now,i had a chat with my gp and o/t and have bought my self a crosstrainer, i do find it very good and if i i only do 5min its something but i do 5 min as often as poss, i do try to keep at it but on bad days it looks like a monster so i just rest till i have the frame of mind and body to do what i can.good luck finding what suits you.

I know this post is old, but if anyone stumbles upon it, then nothing beats Bikram Yoga fro Rheumatoid Arthritis. Check out all of the people on this blog post who rheumatoidarthritisprogram.... shared how much it has changed their lives -

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