If you're dealing with the pain and stiffness of arthritis, working out may not be high on your priority list. But exercise might be exactly what you need to relieve arthritis pain.
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:
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.
Unless you work out for a living, you likely have a limited number of hours to devote to working out each week.
Regardless of the amount of time you devote to exercise, it's tough to figure out how to split your time to maximize results.
For most people, working out three to five days a week is ideal if your goal is to improve your fitness and stay in shape.
If you're used to a very active lifestyle and work out six days a week, you can stick to six days. Otherwise, you don't need to push past five.
For a five-day workout, plan on three days for strength training, two days for cardio training, and then two days of active rest.
Strength train up to three times per week, with each session lasting between 45 and 60 minutes. Allow time for foam rolling and a five-minute warm-up as well. Warm-up exercises allow you to work on coordination with patterns (i.e. crawling) and non-linear movements.
Don't stress about going too hard on the machines; dumbbells, kettlebells and bodyweight moves (i.e. squats) are also great strength training workouts.
Cardio train up to two times per week for a total of 150 minutes of moderate to intense activity per week. Cardio helps you maintain endurance and keeps your circulatory system working at its full capacity. The type of training you're doing will dictate how you split up that time. Your heart rate and the length of the exercise determine whether or not an activity is cardio.
Active Rest Days
An active rest day means not hitting the machines at the gym or taking a long run but still doing something to get yourself moving, such as walking or restorative yoga. Aim for two active rest days per week with a 30-60 minute activity per rest day. Some people like to take off the whole weekend while other people prefer to break up the weekly routine.
Ralph Roberts Training helps clients determine the best number of days to work out per week and advises specific routines for each day at the gym. Contact Ralph Roberts today to get a comprehensive workout in line with your fitness and overall health goals.
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