Fast Walking And Rheumatoid Arthritis
In this podcast Clint reports the results of a 2018 study published by the Arthritis Research and Therapy publication: a number of participants with RA go through very simple physical activity three times a week, and by simply doing this they experience significant improvements in many key parameters like SED rate and blood pressure.
What if I told you could reduce your SED rate, reduce the number of tender joints, and reduce the amount of inflammation in your body and reduce the risk of infection all by just going for a walk three times a week?
Well, that’s what we going to talk about today. I’m going to give you the specifics of a study and how patients were able to get incredible results by certain high-intensity walk activities. And I’ll go through that with you today. This is following up from the conversation that I had in their last podcast episode with rheumatologist Dr. George Munoz, and he spent some long time of this an hour talking about all of the reasons we have to exercise and all the benefits of exercising. And it’s a fabulous conversation, so go and check that out. And if you love Dr. Munoz, I want to also let you know that he is our special guest in our live Q&A that’s going to be this month in July and also next month in August. So he’s giving us two more hours of his time. And in this case, you can ask questions yourself and find out whatever you want to have answered by Dr. Munoz. So just like you would with your rheumatologist, they can do it with Dr. Munoz. So if you’re a member of rheumatoid support or rheumatoid solutions, make sure you register for those webinars. They’re going to be awesome.
Now, today’s study is really fun and fascinating. I was really pleased this was sent to me by someone with our REA on Facebook and it drew my attention to this and said, you’re right, it’s exercise is king. And so I’m very, very grateful for those folks who send me information that I can share out to you and assist in as many ways that I can possibly can with disseminating information. And helping us all see the path forward for better, healthier lives. This study was from mid 2018 and it’s published in the Arthritis Research and Therapy publication. It’s called 10 Weeks of High Intensity Interval Walk Training and it is associated with reduced disease activity. And it also improves innate immune function in older adults with rheumatoid arthritis. A pilot study and it’s a fun one.
So let me go through this. I’m walking through the study on my computer screen, which I’m recording. So if you’re watching this on YouTube, you’ll get the full, full version. If you’re listening to this, don’t worry because I will read the highlighted bits that I’m going to have to cover here. In fact, I’ve pre-highlighted this so that I don’t miss anything. And what this study did is it took twelve physically inactive adults aged 64 plus or minus seven years, which means just on average, 64 years old and as low as 57 and it’s high as 71.
So these people are physically inactive. They’re not doing anything and they are just sitting around with very little, if any, exercise plan. And what they’ve done is they’ve just got them onto a treadmill three times a week and put them on a treadmill for 30 minutes. And the goal of this was to try and elevate their heart rate into a high, high-intensity range where their heart rate is elevated into a safe but elevated state. And they just wanted to try and get them into that elevated state of heart rate for 10 times during that 30-minute session. And they did that between 30 and 45 seconds at a time. And then in between, they were asked to just walk more casually again and let their heart rate come back down and that’s pretty much the study. So just to reiterate, we’ve taken a group of people who are average age 64 who don’t do anything and get them to walk on a treadmill and 10 times throughout that 30 minutes to try and walk as quickly as they can. Until they get their heart rate up between 30 to 45 seconds and then come back down again, and that is it.
No Bikram yoga, not 90 minutes of hardcore, sweaty, and difficult postures, just getting on the treadmill. So what were the results of this cardiorespiratory fitness? Cardiorespiratory increased by nine percent, their blood pressure and resting heart rate both reduced, obviously, good things. Post-intervention disease activity reduced by thirty-eight percent. All right. And significant reductions in ESR, we also call that Sed rate, it is one of the two inflammatory markers you’ve got Sed rate and CRP. And swollen joints and an improved self-perceived health, and that is something that they fill out with a questionnaire.
So the conclusion of the study was that high-intensity interval walking protocol in older adults with stable RA is associated with reduced disease activity, improved cardiovascular fitness, improved innate immune functions, indicative of reduced infection risk, and inflammatory potential. Importantly, the exercise program was well tolerated by these patients. One thing that they point out here in the conclusion which I didn’t draw your attention to, was that these were stable RA. So the criteria for eligibility for this study is that no changes in medications in the past three months. So this takes out the possibility that, hey, maybe a medication change was the reason that this improvement occurred. Ok, so we’re talking about people who were stable on their meds. And I just want to scroll down and I have covered the details of how the exercise was done. I just want to click on a link. In fact, I’ve clicked on it just here and it opens a new tab. And I just want to read out the list of improved parameters of these people, just wrap this up. So pain went down dramatically, anxiety went down dramatically, and depression went down. Now I’m saying dramatically, the studies nearly usually use the phrase significantly, which is probably a better, better phrase. Swollen joints, I want to say dramatically here, and I’m going to like less than half. Tender joints is less than half and Global health is significantly. And two measures of disease activity score significant reductions. The average said rate went down from 10.5 to 7. CRP average went 2.7 down to 2.2 on average. So you can see the incredible outcome of these high intensity little bursts of heart rate improvements, that we can achieve on a treadmill or going for a walk. So even if you’re struggling to walk, there are other ways that we can get up our heart rate, which I suspect would enable us to achieve similar outcomes to the ones in this study. So that might, for you, look like a couple of light dumbbells and using them quickly in like a punching motion while you’re standing on your own or you standing up with a stable posture and really get that heart rate going up and then take a break and then get it up again and try and do it 10 times over the 30 minute period, which was done just like in this study. Of course, if you have any concerns about your heart, go and have those checked out before proceeding as the people in this study did. So that’s what I wanted to share with you today. I think this is fantastic evidence just continually just keeps growing and growing for diet, exercise, stress reduction, fabulous microbiome, diversity, and a portfolio of bacteria. And just keeping, all aspects of your health that you can take control of yourself and get them optimized so that then we can lead the best quality life. Even if we have a chronic disease like RA. So go to it, get that exercise up, and get the heart rate up. It feels good, it reduces pain, anxiety, depression, and just go and get it done. I hope that’s motivating and I hope that information is useful. I’ll see you next time on the Rheumatoid Solutions podcast. And hope to see you on one of these upcoming live Q&A sessions with Dr. George Munoz.