Exercise and physical activity have been proven to help lessen the symptoms of pain, stiffness and immobility among people with arthritis. Don’t believe the naysayers who think that exercise places too much stress on joints and should be avoided. It is exactly the opposite.
What Exercises are Good?
Overtraining or certain extreme types of exercise may not be a good idea, but light exercises such as walking, jogging or biking on a daily basis help strengthen muscles that support joints, help increase range of motion, and can even reduce pain and stiffness.
Also, non weight bearing exercises, such as swimming or water aerobics are still great for arthritis patients. Research has shown that water-related exercise has a tremendously positive effect on the motion of joints, and participants found that their symptoms improved significantly. Agility and stretching exercises also minimize arthritis symptoms. May arthritis sufferers find relief from taking yoga classes, doing tai chi or even performing simple stretching at home.
Consult a Physical Therapist for Help
A physical therapist can help tailor an exercise program to meet your individual needs. They can also incorporate other treatments such as massage, ultrasound and heat or cold therapy to promote further healing. These types of treatments are especially helpful for those who are too disabled to engage in regular exercise.
People don’t need to make exercise regimens overly complicated. Simple daily tasks like walking the dog, raking leaves, mowing the lawn or a stroll around the mall still count!
Maintaining Healthy Weight is Key
One of the most important reasons for people with arthritis to engage in physical activity is to keep their weight in a healthy range. Obesity is one of the major risk factors for developing arthritis, and even being slightly overweight puts more stress on joints than they can handle. So, protect your joints by lightening their load!
As important as exercise is, please make sure to consult a doctor or physical therapist who is familiar with your condition to make sure your exercise plan will be beneficial for your specific symptoms. Once approved, ask a friend or spouse to join you to make it more enjoyable. You’ll be doing them a favor as well.