Simple ways to beat fatigue and stay active and energized with RA.
We don't have to tell you that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can make you feel wiped out! The good news: There's a lot you can do to beat fatigue and put a spring back in your step. Read on.
Fight fatigue with fitness
It’s no secret that staying fit and active can have a significant impact on your rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and your energy level. But did you know that it takes only a small dose of exercise to feel a change in your body?
Whatever activity you choose, start slow. Set small, reachable goals for the amount of time you plan to dedicate to exercise. Remember: Even a few minutes a day is better than no exercise at all! Check with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.
Avoid a wipeout—by taking it slow
When you have RA, life is a balancing act. You want to be active, but not overuse aching joints or put excess stress on your body.
The secret? Do everything in moderation. Use stronger joints to lift heavy things. Be smart about the number of physically demanding activities you do in one day. Rest between strenuous activities.
Fight sleepiness with these tricks
Having trouble getting a good night’s sleep is a common problem for people with RA. In fact, studies have shown that about one-third of people with RA experience disrupted or poor-quality sleep.
You already know your bedroom needs to be a place to help you relax. That means a comfortable mattress, high-quality pillows and light-blocking shades on windows.
But have you tried cleaning out the clutter? Don’t leave piles of unfolded laundry or unopened mail near your bed. Your bedroom should not be a vast wasteland of storage for half-finished activities and projects. Work to keep your room (and especially your nightstand!) neat and chaos-free.
You already know it’s important to “wind down” at least one hour before you go to sleep. This could include dimming the lights, turning off the TV, taking a warm shower or bath and/or curling up with a book.
But have you tried stretching before bed? Gentle, slow stretching exercises can limber up tight muscles and help relieve pain. Ask your physical therapist or trainer to show you some tension-easing exercises that could help your aching joints. If you can release the pain and stiffness from your body before you climb into bed, you’re much more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
Plan better meals to fight inflammation
Don’t believe anyone who tells you there’s a “miracle diet” out there for rheumatoid arthritis—that eating certain foods or taking certain supplements can cure the disease. However, researchers have learned some natural substances in foods may benefit people with RA.
Snack smartly to feel livelier
Just like a car can’t run on an empty tank, your body won’t have much spark if you don’t fill it with nutritious food. Start by upgrading the quality of your snacks.