Working the Rheum: Tips for Living Better with RA Make an Appointment Ask a Question Search Conditions Summary: Working the Rheum: Tips for Living Better with RA Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that affects the joints and that can involve many other body parts. You can improve your symptoms by eating right, staying active, getting rest and changing your lifestyle for the better. Try these tips for managing RA Fuel Drink 48 to 64 ounces of water a day. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, yogurt, cheese and salmon. Eliminate added sugars and processed and fast foods. Energize Do yoga or tai chi to manage stress and relax. Strengthen muscles around joints with weight training. Try hand and finger exercises to increase flexibility and strength. Wear sunscreen (some medications increase sensitivity to UV rays). Use massage, deep breathing and other techniques to relax. Open doors and move items with larger joints to protect small joints. Quit smoking. Recharge Maintain consistent sleep with good sleep habits. Get adequate exposure to bright light during the day. Talk to a friend or counselor when anxious or depressed. Manage stress with exercise, music and laughter. Join a support group or club. Rheumatoid Arthritis is Treatable Watch for these symptoms, and don’t wait to see the doctor: Joint Pains Joint Swelling Joint Stiffness Fatigue Skin Nodules (Bumps under the Skin) Morning Stiffness of the Joints Stiffness after Inactivity Other Resources What is rheumatoid arthritis? What causes rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis How is RA treated? Tips to manage RA Help for patients with RA and heart disease. Arthritis Foundation aquatic therapy classes You may use this infographic or our Working the Rheum: Tips for Living Better with RA (pdf) with permission by completing our content usage request form.