Exercise In Older Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Exercise In Older Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis
7 Mar 2023
8 mins
Table Of Content
Exercise In Older Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis

    People say, "you never realize how long a minute is until you start doing exercise." Ever wonder why? Holding your breath and heavy dumbbells will surely make you feel like the struggle is real! But still, once you start to practice the exercise, you will benefit from all your health conditions. And, yes, let's take the blog tour on rheumatoid arthritis exercises to the older adult. 

    What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis? 

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune disease where the body's immune system accidentally attacks healthy cells. As a result, the lining of joints and other affected body parts experience inflammation and pain, leading to loss of function, malformation, and severe pain. Hence, early diagnosis and treatment are needed if not given; it might cause severe joint damage, which leads to joint replacement. 

    Rheumatoid arthritis is very common in the older group population. That is,  people over 60 age are likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. To treat and prevent rheumatoid arthritis, various medications, natural remedies, and occupational therapies are available. In addition to the treatment, physical activities are vital in helping rheumatoid arthritis. 

    So, here let's see the list of certain exercises for rheumatoid arthritis in which older adult people get to maintain their strength. 

    Wondering What Are The Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercises? 


    Sounds interesting? Yes! Rheumatoid arthritis exercise is a crucial component of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis impairment and improvement. Regular exercise for arthritis can increase a person's strength and flexibility. While increased flexibility can help joint function, stronger muscles can support your joints more effectively. You must be super excited to know about the rheumatoid arthritis exercise, right? So, aerobic and resistance exercises can decrease pain and increase flexibility.

    Exercises Come Under Aerobic And Resistance



    Stretching your body is essential to avoid rigidity and maintain motion. It is the best way to fix flexibility. Spend three to five minutes sitting, standing, or pumping your arms while warming up. Release the stretch after 20 - 30 seconds by repeating each stretch. You can use yoga straps or a dog leash to stretch. 



    With water exercises, you can support your weight better with water. Especially exercising in warm water allows for a reduction of stiffness and enables more joint movement. Water exercise is natural resistance, strengthening your body and improving aerobic conditions. 



    Even though walking is minimal, it is vital for your heart and joints and improves your mood. Make sure you wear proper shoes before starting. Initially, start walking slowly and gradually increase your speed and distance. Remember to carry your bottle; you must stay hydrated while walking.  



    Cycling can enhance cardiovascular health since rheumatoid arthritis has a risk of cardiovascular issues, and it is important to maintain your heart health. It will also increase the range of motion and leg flexibility, strengthening the joints and relieving stiffness. It’s better to cycle outside to get some fresh air.

    Ankle circles 


    An ankle circle increases the range of motion in your ankle joints and relaxes your muscles and nervous system. Raise one foot off the ground as you stand up by pointing your toe, and rotating your ankle will create a circle. Do five circles, then reverse your course. Be careful to carry out identical procedures on the opposite ankle.



    Pilates is a mind-body exercise for arthritis that can help you release stress in your legs, back, and shoulders. The role of Pilates activates the core muscles and focuses on movement. For general movement patterns, Pilates can be effective. People new to Pilates should start carefully and get advice from a qualified trainer.

    Chair Yoga 


    As the name indicates chairs are used as a support during the exercise, known as chair yoga. Chair yoga provides flexibility, concentration, and strength for older people. 

    Strength Training


    Strength training can increase the power of muscles around the injured joints, which reduces pain. Exercises like Sit-ups, squats, push-ups, leg raises and planks, and free weights come under strength training. It can help older folk maintain their independence and quality of life. It would help if you got guidance from your physical therapist before starting these exercises. 

    Hand Exercises


    A person with rheumatoid arthritis may lose their grip strength or find that they are dropping objects. Exercises like wrist bending (up and down), O-making, twisting the fingers slowly, extending the fingers widely on a table, and stress ball compression can reduce the stiffness and increase the motion and strength of the hands. 

    Wrist Bending


    Place your elbow on a tabletop with your hand pointed upward. Using your other hand, slowly pull back your open palm. Try to do as far as you can without pushing yourself. Release after five seconds of holding. Push your hand forward at this position, hold for five seconds, and then let go. Then, repeat with the other hand.

    O-Making Exercise


    Try to softly connect your thumb to your index finger while holding your fingers together and bending your thumb. Try to form the letter "O" with your hand. With practice, you'll get better at this workout. To improve your skill, try touching all your fingers to your thumb.

    Flowing Movement ( Yoga And Tai chi)


    Yoga and tai chi emphasize flexibility, deep breathing, flowing motions, gentle position, and meditation. They minimize tension while enhancing flexibility, balance, and range of motion. Studies show that both methods are helpful for persons with rheumatoid arthritis. 

    Last But Not Least

    “If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness.” -Robin Sharma. 


    Hope we gathered some new knowledge with the blog tour. Here are some quick tips on how and what to remember while doing these exercises. Choose proper accessories for ease and safety, like shoes, yoga mats, and clothes. Get advice from your physical therapist to alter your Rheumatoid arthritis exercise plan according to symptoms. And last but not least, always listen to your body by choosing the right intensity exercise. It is recommended to reduce the speed if you feel any discomfort.

    Written by
    Aswini Priya VelmuruganMedical Content Writer
    AboutPharm D
    Tags :Rheumatoid arthritis in older adultExercise for Rheumatoid arthritisExercise for older adultExercise for arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis exercise Aerobic exercise