Step 2: Physical Health
It’s true that keeping positive is possible regardless of your physical condition, but if optimism has been troubling to find, making small movements to improving your physical condition may build momentum towards optimism.
Realistically, building better physical health involves a triangle of components: diet, exercise and sleep. Each of these aspects are simple to develop but are easily overlooked.
Beginning with diet, look into foods that make sense for you. Avoid being a person that seeks out the quick fix or the newest fad diet. Instead, make small adjustments including preparing your own meals more often while looking into foods that can decrease inflammation and avoid foods that add to it.
Reducing or eliminating gluten and aspartame from your diet may help this process. It may also help to avoid a group of plants known as nightshade vegetables that include potatoes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.
The right amount of exercise will keep your joints from getting stiff and strengthen the surrounding muscles and connective tissue. Exercise, paired with changing diet, will also help melt away unwanted pounds. Less weight means less impact on your ailing joints and less pain.
Don’t think that your RA makes exercise impossible. Swimming, walking, elliptical trainers are all low impact exercises that will help preserve your joint health.
Now that you are eating right and exercising, you can turn your focus to sleep. You may not realize that the previous changes will make better sleep possible, since your diet and exercise levels influence your sleep.
Talk to your doctor about the right amount of sleep for you and track your trends. Too much sleep is just as damaging as too little.
Next page: addressing your mental health.