Why Yoga Can Be Good for Rheumatoid Arthritis

yoga-1434787_960_720.jpgRegular exercise makes a big difference when you have rheumatoid arthritis. “It’s important to keep muscles strong to support the joints, and movement is important to reduce stiffness,” says Susan J. Bartlett, PhD, an associate professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal.Yoga can be a fun alternative to walking, swimming, biking, and other activities. Like any other type of exercise, yoga helps you stay at a healthy weight and get stronger, which in turn takes pressure off your joints. Being fit also makes you less likely to get heart disease and diabetes, two conditions that are more common if you have rheumatoid arthritis.A program of yoga poses, breathing, and relaxation can make a big difference in joint tenderness and swelling, according to the Arthritis Foundation. And the better you feel, the better you’ll be able to handle your RA

How It Helps

This type of exercise is flexible — literally. “Yoga can be modified in many different ways to help protect your joints and [be] adapted to the specific needs of most individuals,” Bartlett says

So if you have problems with your wrists, you can make adjustments to protect them. And on those days when your body tells you to pull back a little, yoga lets you do that.

It’s also been shown to boost energy, build positive feelings, and ease anxiety. For people who have an ongoing illness, particularly one that’s painful and unpredictable, the mood-boosting impact of yoga is a great bonus. “It really helps with increased stress that goes hand-in-hand with living with a chronic disease,” Bartlett says.

“We know that stress worsens RA symptoms and even the disease itself. So it’s important to manage stress effectively and to listen to your body,” she says. “When you practice yoga, you learn to listen to and respect your body as it is today, here and now. You learn to focus on yourself and on calming and quieting your body. By doing yoga, you’re learning how to relax and let go of muscle tension.”


Source: WebMD Feature Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on June 26, 2013

3 replies to “Why Yoga Can Be Good for Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. Lovely reading 🙂

    I think in some respects I am healthier than before I was diagnosed with arthritis!!

    Prior to my diagnosis, I took my health for granted and now I keep an eye on my weight, eat more healthily and walk almost every day. My Fitbit puts me right up there for my age! That’s based on exercise it knows I do as well as my resting heart rate etc

    I also do relaxation yoga for strength.

    Therefore I hope the diagnosis will give you the chance to make positive changes too.

    take care


    1. Sometimes we realize that we have to take care about our health when we have some diagnosis but it is marvellous that some of us succeed and is strong enough to do something with it. Congratulation. I have scoliosis and back pain and I am trying to exercise but it is not so easy (at first to decide, then to find time, maybe to find somebody to do it with me.. and to exercise and do not mind pain in my muscles.. ) 🙂 I wish a lot of strength and I can recommend exercising to everybody. It is the way to longer life. Have a nice day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Beata,
    🙂 you are right, it is hard to build up a new habit in Life.
    I’m sure that ” Find the time for exercise is just a matter of priority ”
    For example, If you will know that 20 minutes of exercise will keep you alive or If you will don’t find that 20 min. you will die in the midnight. Will you grow up that habit? 😉
    I wish you a lot of strength 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star