Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were told just a few years ago that running was bad for you. However, some studies now suggest that it’s perfectly ok to run if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and some may even suggest that it could be beneficial.
Research that was carried out in the Netherlands has reportedly shown that those who participated in running and jogging at least twice a week improved their mood. The research also found that these activities also allowed RA sufferers to improve their daily function too.
While many people assume that running, jogging, and other high-intensity exercises could make joint damage dramatically worse, this study found that was not the case. In fact, it was found that those whose damage did progress was likely to be down to suffering from a more aggressive form of the condition.
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis you should speak to your doctor before you undertake any strenuous activity. Once you have spoken to your doctor you should also:
Consider which joints are affected
If you have no affected weight-bearing joints there is no reason why you couldn’t take up running. If you have damage to your feet or ankles you should not run or undertake aerobics. However, if you have rheumatoid arthritis in your hands and wrists you should refrain from undertaking any activities that involve these areas of the body.
Start off slowly
The key to sticking with running in the long term is to start off slowly. Give your body the chance to get used to running and you’ll know when you can start picking up the pace. Ideally, you should start with walking and slowly but surely pick the pace up until you can safely see how your body responds to running slowly.
Pay attention to your body
It’s absolutely vital that you listen to your body and pay attention to what it is telling you. If it hurts to run quickly, slow down a little and see how your body reacts. The more attention you pay to your body, the less likely you are to get hurt.