The pain and stiffness that comes with osteoarthritis can be more than just a nuisance. It can severely impact your day-to-day activities. It doesn’t have to be that way. Physical activity and exercises for arthritis are the best way to improve your flexibility and reduce pain, without using medication. Don’t worry about your age or fitness level, just get started!
How to Start
As with any exercise program, consult your doctor first to make sure it’s appropriate for your level of health and fitness. Begin with walking or water exercise, two of the absolute best options for people with arthritis. Walking can be done for free, practically anywhere, and its many benefits include improved circulation, lower blood pressure, stronger heart condition, and increased bone mass and muscle tone. Aquatic exercise removes the pressure of your body weight on your joints, while at the same time providing resistance for strengthening your muscles.
Flexibility and Strengthening Exercises
It’s vital to maintain the ability for your joints to move through their full range of motion. Consistent stretching and flexion exercises will ensure that your joints move easily and with less pain. Light weight lifting and resistance exercise will make you stronger, which helps support and protect your joints.
As you build up your workout routine, you can add aerobic exercise to make your heart and lungs stronger and improve your endurance. Power walking, biking, jogging, and swimming are good options. You can also try equipment like elliptical machines and slideboard trainers for low-resistance lateral workouts.
Listen to your body, as well as your doctor and physical therapist, when it comes to intensity and frequency of exercise. Stretching should be done every day, while aerobic exercise should be done 30 minutes a day, three to five times per week. Pay attention to your level of impact and whether or not you feel pain and abnormal swelling.
Living With Arthritis
The biggest takeaway is that you don’t have to let arthritis pain debilitate you. In fact, the more you move, the more you’ll be able to move. Exercises for arthritis are proven to help reduce pain and improve your overall joint health. Start moving today!