How one can train safely with arthritis, as analysis exhibits bodily exercise can cut back fatigue

A new study has the potential to offer hope to people with inflammatory rheumatoid diseases – including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and axial spondylitis.

The researchers found that patients who participated in an exercise program significantly improved their fatigue levels.

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Research conducted by the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow and funded by the charity Versus Aretes, shows that the energy-boosting benefits continue for six months after completing the 30-week course, with benefits Other reported benefits include improved sleep, mental health and quality. of life.

Dr Neha Issar-Brown, director of health intelligence and research at Versus Aretes, said: “Fatigue and chronic pain go hand in hand as a parallel challenge for people living with low-inflammatory diseases. joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. But fatigue tends to be unresponsive to drugs for these conditions and often goes unrecognized by clinicians.

“There is an urgent and unmet need for more evidence-based interventions, including better access to non-drug treatments such as cognitive and behavioral therapies. supported physical activity, so that more people with arthritis can maintain their independence, continue working and enjoy better mental health, which we know can cruelly taken away. “

Here’s everything you need to know about exercising with arthritis…

How does exercise help reduce fatigue?

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“Exercise helps reduce fatigue by increasing your ability to exercise,” says Peter Evans, an advanced physical therapist at “It’s almost counter-intuitive, but if you do something over and over again, you build up your energy reserves to really make it normal.”

That’s why it’s important to continue to gradually increase the amount of physical activity you try. “If someone only walks a mile and never goes any further, they don’t increase their ability to walk more than a mile,” says Evans.

What are the best types of exercise for people with arthritis?

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“Instead of the type of exercise, it’s the timing,” says Evans. “[Meaning] Start with a small interval, and gradually increase. “

He recommends walking as the best option for beginners, starting with a short hike up your path, at least three or four houses in the distance.

“See how your joints react to that. If you have no reaction, the next day or the next time you do it, add three or four houses and then go back. It can be as simple as that.”

He also recommends doing “some weight-bearing exercise in the gym or at home, but again it depends on how much pain and what joints are affected in those patients.”

You don’t have to have a lot of fancy equipment – things like a water bottle or box of beans can be used in place of dumbbells – and you may want to see your GP if you have any questions or concerns.

If arthritis mainly affects your lower joints, you can adjust your activity to reduce pressure in these areas. Evans said: “If running is not an option, then [try] a weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, stationary cycling, or using an elliptical. “

How many activities should you do per week?

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There’s no hard and fast rule about how much exercise an arthritis patient should exercise each week – it’s about finding what’s more helpful than hindering your condition.

Evans suggests that if you’re doing the right type of exercise, it’s safe to say it won’t make your condition worse, but exercise can worsen your symptoms — that’s one definition. really important. One of the dangers is that if you tell someone, ‘You can exercise’, they will walk away and [walk] two miles, and then they’ll be sore for the next three or four days and say, ‘Exercise hurts me’. “

Katie Knapton, physiotherapist founder of Physio Fast Online (, also encourages a slow and steady approach. “The benefits of being active are huge, but it can increase symptoms at first — this doesn’t mean you should give it up,” she says. “Always introduce new activities slowly. Usually it’s good to have a rest day in between.”

And remember, it’s okay to take breaks when needed, or modify your routine if your arthritis flares up.

“If you’re having a flare of symptoms, lower-impact exercises are best,” says Knapton, who recommends activities like swimming, water aerobics, gentle stretching, and tai chi right to say. “If you have severe swelling in your joints, ease it up, or if it’s hot and swollen you should see a doctor.”

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