Exercises and Rheumatism.

Why should exercise?

Physically active people are healthier and live longer compared to those who are inactive. This is true for everyone, but especially for those with rheumatism. The benefits of physical exercise are well known to everyone, but some have proved extremely important for rheumatic patients. Arthritis is one of the biggest causes of physical activity limitation, and inactivity can worsen the disease, creating a vicious circle, which will increasingly complicate the condition, making improvement difficult. Many people with arthritis are “out of shape”, are “weaker”, with less flexibility, feeling more pain than necessary, mainly due to the “complications” of inactivity. Pain, stiffness, fatigue, and the fear of getting worse can make the patient react against exercise. Nonetheless,

What types of exercise are useful and safe?

Studies show that many people with arthritis can safely participate in regular exercise programs, seeking to achieve better aerobic conditions, increased muscle strength, endurance and flexibility, facilitating everyday tasks such as walking, bending, taking care of household chores. There are three main types of exercise, each in improving health, fitness, and reducing disability and pathology-related pain.

Stretches are gentle exercises, which are practiced daily, promote an improvement in muscle quality, increase flexibility and, if done correctly, reduce injuries caused by daily effort. They are the foundation of any rehabilitation program.

Muscle Conditioning (strength and endurance): these are more vigorous than the previous one and usually run every other day. They are indicated to increase the quantity and quality of muscle, working with increasing loads and resistance. It requires strict control from a specialized technician, such as a physical education teacher, in addition to the doctor, of course.

Aerobic Conditioning: These include activities that use the body’s muscles rhythmically and repetitively, improving heart, lung, and muscle function. It’s also the type of exercise that benefits weight management, mood, and overall health. Examples of this exercise are walking, dancing, swimming, water aerobics or aerobics (always with low impact), cycling, etc.

Did you know? For example, a crude method of analyzing whether your exercise rhythm is correct is talking while walking, which cannot cause shortness of breath. Do not forget that it is essential to go to the doctor before starting any exercise. Only he will be able to state what is best for you and the indicated pace. Current recommendations for physical activity indicate that 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, 05 times a week, is enough to maintain a healthy state. Some studies demonstrate that this period can be divided into 3 of 10 minutes for rheumatic patients with the same benefit.

How to choose the best exercise program?

An exercise program for a person with arthritis includes stretching, muscle strengthening, and aerobic activities. The content and progression of this program depend on individual needs and existing disabilities. The most effective exercise programs will be those where the relationship between rheumatologist X patient is more intense, as trust is essential to break the barriers of fear of pain. Fatigue and cancer.

Most cancer patients find they have much less energy than before. During chemotherapy and radiation therapy, most patients experience fatigue, and this type of tiredness of the body and brain does not improve with rest. For many, fatigue is intense and limits their activities, and inactivity leads to loss of muscle mass.

Anaerobic exercise programs can make you feel better, and they may even be prescribed as a treatment for fatigue in cancer patients.

Tips to reduce fatigue:

Establish a routine that allows you to exercise daily.

Exercise regularly.

Control pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression.

Do activities that give you pleasure.

Use relaxation and visualization techniques to reduce stress.

Take breaks between sets of exercises.

Ask for help when you need it. effective exercises

For best results, you must monitor your heart. Pay attention to your heart rate, breathing, and if you feel tired. If you are short of breath or feel very tired, stop and rest for a while. When you feel better again, return to exercise. Always respect your rhythm. Be careful if you are taking blood pressure medication as your heart rate may not increase much, but your blood pressure may rise significantly.

There is no set exercise routine for cancer patients. The goal is to have a program that helps maintain endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility, enabling the patient to do what they want and need to do. The more the patient exercises, the better he will feel. Even if it is necessary to stop exercising for some time, it is important to stay active, carrying out your normal activities as much as you can.

Simple and fun exercises

The key is to keep your exercise program simple and fun. Exercise and relaxation techniques are great ways to relieve stress and allow you to feel better.

Tips to improve interest in exercise:

Set short-term and long-term goals.

Practice different exercises, try dancing, yoga, or tai chi chuan.

Ask family and friends to exercise with you.

Record your progress.

Recognize and reward your achievements.

Add physical activity to your routine.

Below are some ways you can add some physical activity to your daily activities. But remember, do what you feel like!

Take a walk around your neighborhood after lunch or dinner.

Ride a bike.

If you live at home, mow the lawn and sweep the yard.

Wash your bathroom.

Wash your car.

Play with the kids.

Walk the dog.

Take care of the garden.


Exercise while watching TV.

Dismiss the car for short journeys.

Use stairs instead of elevators.

Get off the public transport a few stops before.

Former patients need to exercise less intensely and increase training more slowly than people who have not had cancer. Remember, the goal is to maintain as much physical activity as possible. Stay safe, have fun and practice what works for you.

Text originally published on the website of the  American Cancer Society on 24/03/2014, freely translated and adapted by the Oncoguia Institute team.

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