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My RA 10 minute exercise plan


Repeat after me

Mary's exercise coach

Nancy, the RA exercise coach


Historically, I have always been a mover: swimming laps, walking a big dog, yoga classes, physically active job, cancer rehab, silver sneakers core, tai chi, gardening, etc.  RA changed a lot of that.

I reached a point where I was so sick I could hardly move. I moved only because it hurt more when I didn’t move. I don’t think anyone understands how hard it can be just to get dressed. Running errands is exhausting. Going to the gym, just a dream for the moment.

I cannot walk far  as I have bad ankle and foot damage. Going to the gym, for now, feels like planning a trip to the moon. However, I know that muscle strength, flexibility, aerobic conditioning are vital to RA stability.

And it needs to happen every day.

When I feel better, I swim laps. In June it was a quarter mile free style. Felt good.  Presently, that seems overwhelming. Not the swimming but the dynamics around it.

I have devised a ten minute exercise set that I do every day! It is a combination of all I have learned. It is doable.

  • Complete range of motion
  • Stretching all that can stretch
  • Using light weights
  • Continually moving for the 10 minutes

May not seem like much but I can do this through my worst flares and I do it every day.  When I feel better, I will swim.  I will ride the stationary bike. Yoga will become a stronger part of my routine.

Right now I am doing something. I have my 10 minute routine. You, too, can do it.



Cooney JK, L. R. (2011). Benefits of Exercise in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Aging Research. (Excellent article)

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