There are so many websites out there about Rheumatoid Arthritis and often times; you need to look through multiple sites to find all the information you need. Well, that is all about to change. I was recently contacted about a new site called: Reach Beyond RA that offers more than just health information. It offers a variety of other resources that affect those of us living with RA, including home, fitness, finances, and just simply living life.
I have not been this excited about a website in a long time because I am picky about the RA information I read and accept as truth or helpful. This particular site is created by UCB, Inc., a global biopharma company focused on severe disease with offices in more than 40 countries*.
The first thing I did when I got to the site was do a cursory review the home page for the site. It is loaded with some great information on the MY RA fit kit, financial assistance, and scholarship information for RA patients. There is also links to an affiliated site, Healthy Women, which is independent health information source for women that offers an RA page. I will review that site at a later date.
My favorite section was the RA recipe section that included RA friendly foods and foods that decrease inflammation or don’t cause inflammation. Each recipe includes kitchen tips to make food preparation easier for RA patients. For example, the Baked Salmon recipe suggests using a food processor for chopping onions and a hand held mixer for recipes that require a lot of stirring. Moreover, each recipe notes its benefit to the RA patient. In the salmon recipe, for example, it is noted that fresh salmon “is a great source of protein, Vitamin A, and omega-3s (a healthy, beneficial fat), while the low-calorie sauce is rich in helpful antioxidants.” It looks like all the recipes are set up the same way and they are not time consuming because, just like the rest of you, I can’t always stand for long periods of time in the kitchen and my hands and arms can’t handle a lot of chopping and stirring. The diet section is also loaded with lots of great information on just about everything for practicing a RA friendly diet – something that many of us struggle to figure out.
The video section offers great videos about healthy living with arthritis. A favorite of mine offers tips on making your workplace RA friendly. I was pleasantly surprised by the Learning to Laugh Again and A Full Life with RA videos. There are not many sites that offer information about life with RA or address the difficulties that many of face as we try to have normal lives. For a long, I have stressed on the value of this type of information for those of us living with RA and similar chronic conditions. The “Living” section focuses on the very issues that most of us struggle with daily such as work, home life, and just simply trying to have that normal life that does always seem within our reach. Having a normal life focuses on issues such raising a family, intimacy and relationships – topics that I have tried to touch on my blog because I know that those resources are often not available to RA patients.
A visit to the “fitness” section also put my mind at ease. One of the things I strongly address as an advocate is the importance of low impact activity and techniques to relieve stress. All of this great information is at your fingertips including low impact workouts and activities and relaxation techniques. Offering advice on relaxation and stress reduction shows that mental health is equally as important as physical health. I am glad that they included both under the fitness section.
I cannot say enough great things about Reach Beyond RA but I don’t believe me. I would rather you go ahead and check out the site for yourself.
*I was not paid for this review. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me.