Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Losing Pregnancy Weight When You've Got RA

Shedding pregnancy pounds easier with exercise – even if you have RA.

Post-pregnancy RA Rx continued...

Schwarz’s exercise Rx for RA? “Aim for at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise four to six times a week to prevent heart disease and burn enough calories to lose your postpartum weight,” she says. Over time, you'll want to gradually increase that 20 minutes. Try low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking, bicycling, or using an elliptical machine. “Try and move as much as possible,” says Schwarz. “Swimming is great because it makes one feel weightless. Consider taking a swim class with your baby when he or she is old enough.”

Strength training and stretching are also important, she adds.

“Light resistance training is necessary to maintain muscle strength which, in turn, makes stronger bones,” Schwartz says. It’s a win-win situation: Stronger muscles also help lower joint pain by better supporting your joints. Strength exercises involve working the muscle against resistance with or without weights, elastic bands, or machines. The key, says Schwartz, is "low weights and high reps." Stretching and holding different joint and muscle groups for 10 to 30 seconds each may boost flexibility. After your routine, it’s time to decompress. “Cooling down may [include] sitting and breathe deeply and coming to a steady state,” she says.

Know Your Body

When you have RA, it’s important to listen to your body and heed its warning signs. “There is a difference between 'I can't continue' pain and 'I feel a little uncomfortable' pain,” Schwartz says. If you are in a lot of pain, take a break. And figure out the exercise routine that works best for you. “Many people with RA have morning stiffness, so it may be better to exercise later in the day,” she says. “Know your body, work within your limits and when in doubt, ask for advice, help or feedback.”

1 | 2
Reviewed on January 12, 2011

Today on WebMD

rubbing hands
Avoid these 6 common mistakes.
mature couple exercising
Decrease pain, increase energy.
mature woman threading needle
How much do you know?
Swelling, fatigue, pain, and more.
Lucille Ball
Hand bones X-ray
prescription pills
Woman massaging her neck
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Woman rubbing shoulder
Working out with light weights