Tai chi, qigong, yoga and pilates

Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga and Pilates are all gentle forms of exercise that can be particularly beneficial for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). The slow, controlled movements allow you to stop if you feel you are straining, or experiencing increased levels of joint pain. These types of gentle exercises can help you keep mobile, as well as helping with posture, balance and breathing.

Top tips:

  • Ensure you choose a class with a fully qualified teacher and that it's right for you. For example, Iyengar yoga is gentle, and therefore more suitable for people with RMDs, as opposed to other types, which are more strenuous.
  • Tell the teacher about your condition before the class, so they can adapt or modify movements for you.
  • Have regular checks with your physiotherapist to monitor your progress.
  • Concentrate on muscle control and practice good breathing techniques whilst you are exercising.
  • Become body aware and use a mirror to check your body alignment from time to time – try and maintain good posture as you perform daily tasks and when you are standing and sitting.

This is general advice for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), but individuals may have specific problems. Always speak to your doctor or physiotherapist before you start a new form of exercise.

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