Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis because it increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and even relieves fatigue. If you suffer from arthritis, here are some things to know before you start a workout routine.
1. Can You Exercise With Arthritis?
Studies show that people with many forms of arthritis can participate in exercise that's appropriate and safe for their condition. Even individuals with severe inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from moderate intensity workouts.
People with osteoarthritis of the knee or other joints can reduce symptoms by combining strength and aerobic training.
2. Why Is Exercise Beneficial For People With Arthritis?
Here are just a few benefits to working out with arthritis:
- Exercise strengthens the muscles around your joints and helps you maintain bone strength.
- It gives you more energy – energy helps you get through your day.
- Many of the symptoms common to arthritis, from stiff joints to lower pain tolerance, are worsened by inactivity. And inactivity may lead to other health issues like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
- Exercise improves your sleep.
- Exercise makes it easier to control your weight and improves your balance.
- Moderate exercise can improve cartilage health in individuals who are at risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee.
Make sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you've been inactive. Your doctor can tell you how to incorporate exercise into your arthritis treatment plan.
It's vital to develop an exercise plan that provides the most benefit without aggravating your arthritis pain.
4. Best Types Of Exercise For Arthritis
Among the most common types of exercises are range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises and aerobic exercise.
Range-of-motion exercises relieve stiffness and help you to move your joints through their full motion. Strengthening exercises help you build strong muscles that support and protect your joints. Aerobic or endurance exercises improve your cardiovascular health, control your weight, and give you more stamina and energy.
Here are some specific workouts ideal for arthritis sufferers. But it's important to know that any type of sustained movement, from raking leaves to walking the dog, can help.
Water Aerobics & Swimming
Water aerobics has 75 percent less impact on your joints than regular aerobics, while swimming works all of your muscles groups and builds cardiovascular endurance.
Weight lifting and resistance training are great ways to help manage arthritis pain. They keep the muscles around the affected joints healthy, lubricate joints and decrease bone loss.
All types of walking, whether outdoors or on a treadmill, help to relieve arthritis pain, strengthen muscles and reduce stress. Start slowly if you haven't been exercising and work up to 30 minutes of continuous walking on a flat surface or slight incline.
Cycling works all the muscles in your lower body, including your feet. If upright stationary bikes and outdoor biking aggravate back or knee problems, use a recumbent bike instead.
Yoga improves flexibility, strengthens muscles, reduces stress and more.
Pilates stretches the spine and strengthens muscles.
Bosu ball workouts are a great way to tone muscles and strengthen your upper and lower body. They are also lighter on joints than traditional aerobics.
Ready to get fit? My bosu ball guide will provide you with 7 full-body to help you get the body you've always wanted – right from home.