When we talk about physical activity a lot of it is to do with prevention, do this to prevent cardiovascular disease, do this to prevent diabetes etc. But what about those who are physically active and still develop diseases? Was it all a waste of time?
Of course not! Physical activity has too many benefits to name, so it’s always going to benefit something, but in the case of rheumatoid arthritis your physical activity history could be of great benefit.
New research shows that people who were regularly physically active in the five years before their diagnosis were more likely to have mild rheumatoid arthritis, as opposed to moderate to severe.
For a disease with many troubling effects like swollen joints and the risk of developing heart disease, the difference between having mild and moderate rheumatoid arthritis is not something to be laid back over. If you already have rheumatoid arthritis then physical activity can still benefit you, but if you suspect you’re at risk of developing it then making a simple change such as walking to the shop everyday could prove invaluable in the future.
Faye Prior (Researcher)
Sandberg et al., (2014). Patients with regular physical activity before onset of rheumatoid arthritis present with milder disease. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 73(8), 1541-4.