by That’s Fit Staff – Aug 5th 2010
Lifting weights can help to boost your metabolism and build bone strength – and new research suggests that it may help to treat rheumatoid arthritis, too.
A study of 28 patients at Bangor and Gwynedd Hospital, which was funded by Arthritis Research UK, found that those who practised weight training saw improvements in physical function, such as walking.
Experts now believe that this type of exercise could play an important role alongside drug treatment, although it would not be appropriate for all patients.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease affecting the joints, but it also seriously reduces muscle mass and strength, even in patients whose disease is well managed.
Sufferers are often given mild home exercises to do to stop their joints stiffening and becoming painful.
The new study showed that physical function could be improved by 20 – 30 per cent due to weight training – and strength increased by nearly 120 per cent.
Study leader Dr Andrew Lemmey said the arthritis patients, who were mainly women in their 50s who had had the disease for up to a decade, responded well to the training.
A spokesman for Arthritis Research UK said: “Weight training, especially at this level, is not for everyone with rheumatoid arthritis, but for those who are very well-motivated and physically able, we have proved that it can dramatically improve muscle strength and tone.”
Fit for You response
At Fit for You, we have successfully worked with arthritis patients, and had very positive results in the rehabilitation.
We have used both weight training and nutritional advice to give our clients great benefits and also used these methods for people that have had knee and hip operations to remove osteoarthritic joints.
You can find out more by contacting us on 0191 3878588