Best Exercises for Bone Health With RA

If you take corticosteroids for your RA, it's a good idea to step up your exercise to help keep your bones strong.

You will also strengthen the muscles that support your joints, so you'll move better. You will also improve your heart health, energy level, mood, balance, and coordination.

The best exercises for building bone are weight-bearing exercises, such as these:

Walking

It’s simple, free, and you can do it anywhere. A regular walking program strengthens your hip bones, ankles, and knees. To get the most benefits, walk for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. You can break that up into three 10-minute strolls, if you like.

Strength Training

You can use exercises with free weights, weight machines, or elastic exercise bands. Do it at a gym or at home with handheld weights, resistance bands, or even soup cans from your cupboard. Aim to do your exercises 2 to 3 days per week. A physical therapist or certified fitness trainer who has experience working with people with RA can get you started.

Yoga

It eases stiffness and tension, and some poses also help your bones. Talk to your physical therapist or find an instructor who has taught people with arthritis. Once you know the postures, you can practice at home.

Stationary Bikes and Elliptical Machines

Does RA affect your back and hips? You may want to try a recumbent bike, in which you sit down with your legs stretched in front of you. It may feel better than an upright bike.

Elliptical trainers give you a good workout and are easy on your knees.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on April 21, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Cedars-Sinai: "Corticosteroid-Induced Osteoporosis."

The University of Arizona: "Bone Builders."

Arthritis Today: "Exercise Is Good Medicine."

The University of Arizona: "Bone Builders."

Georgetown University Department of Medicine: "What is Osteoporosis?"

Baylor College of Medicine: "Stemming Bone Loss After Menopause."

The University of New Mexico College of Education Exercise Science: "Training Clients with Arthritis."

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Prevention Exercise for Healthy Bones"

Recreational Sports University of Florida: "Benefits of Yoga."

Phoosuwan, M. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 2009.

Yale Health Care: "Pain Not Required for Exercise Benefits."

University of Washington Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine: "Exercise and Arthritis."

Ohio State University Extension: "Improve Balance, Prevent Falls."

 

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