5 Rheumatoid Arthritis Energy Boosters

Simple ways to beat fatigue and stay active and energized with RA.

Health Monitor Staff
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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.

  • Fight inflammation. Some doctors believe omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation. Omega-3s are commonly found in salmon, tuna, halibut, sardines and mackerel, and in plant foods such as flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Build bone. Calcium may also be important for people with RA, because the disease increases your risk for osteoporosis.
  • Relieve pain. Researchers have found that capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their spicy flavor) may relieve joint and muscle pain.

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.

April 2013