When you have rheumatoid arthritis, you’ll want to celebrate your good days. Try not to look over your shoulder in anticipation of an RA flare. Instead, go forward with the things that help you stay healthy.
Keep Up With Regular Checkups
Even when you’re on the upswing, it’s important to have regular visits with your doctor and continue with your RA medications. After all, they're working! The Arthritis Foundation recommends you see your doctor at least once a year to monitor your RA.
Be sure to keep your lab appointments, too. You need regular blood tests to see how you’re doing and spot possible side effects of treatment.
Eat Right for RA
Protect Yourself From Flu and Other Infections
The drugs used to treat RA can weaken your body’s defenses and make you more likely to get infections. Get a flu shot every year. Check with your doctor to find out when you should get vaccines for these other infections:
Stay Active and Fit
With your doctor’s OK, get 20 to 30 minutes of low-impact aerobic exercise on as many days of the week as you can. Walking, water aerobics, swimming, and bicycling are good joint-friendly exercises. Avoid anything that puts a lot of stress on your joints, such as running.
A couple of days a week, do some strength training to strengthen the muscles that support your joints.
Also a couple of days a week, do stretching to improve flexibility. Take it easy, though. Don’t overdo it.