6 Everyday Energy Boosters

Follow these tips for a fuller, more active life with RA.

Health Monitor Staff
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Tip #5: Improve sleep habits.
Studies have shown that approximately one-third of people with RA experience disrupted or poor-quality sleep. If you have RA, you know how important sleep is for maintaining your health and energy.

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 or curling up with a book. At this time, you may also want to perform gentle, slow stretches. If you reduce pain and stiffness before you climb into bed, you're much more likely to get a good night's sleep. Ask your physical therapist or trainer to show you some tension-busting moves.

Tip #6: Watch your diet.
There's no "miracle diet" for RA, but eating certain foods and spices may help ease symptoms. For example, some doctors believe that 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 flaxseeds and walnuts. Capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their spicy flavor) has also been shown to relieve joint and muscle pain.

January 2012