Arthritis can be debilitating, but there are still ways to improve your strength and range of motion even with this disease. Although stretching can be extremely painful at times, it’s an important part of improving your quality of life. After reviewing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harvard University researchers discovered that about 53% of people with arthritis didn’t walk at all for physical activity, 66% walked for less than 90 minutes a week, and only 23% met recommendations of 150 minutes or more a week. That’s important because exercise such as walking is an essential part of combating the pain, stiffness and irritation that comes from arthritis.
Why Exercise with Arthritis?
It’s a part of the human nature to stop an activity in response to pain, however, there are times when working through the pain can have positive results. This is the case with arthritis. Research shows that even very low intensity exercises such as walking and slow biking can significantly improve arthritis symptoms and related pain. Not only this, regular exercise also supports your overall health physically and mentally.
Getting started can be tough, particularly if pain is involved. Fortunately, there are a variety of exercises to reduce arthritis pain, even if walking or biking don’t appeal to you.
Top 3 Exercises for Reducing Arthritis Pain
1. Strength Training – Free weights, resistance bands, and exercise balls are some of the most effective strength building activities for someone living with arthritis.
2. Water-Based Exercise – Exercising in water provides your muscles with resistance without the
wear and tear you’d expect from exercising on land. Water exercises are particularly helpful for people who have arthritis in their hips or knees. Try water aerobics, treading water or walking through water to get your health benefits.
3. Low Impact, Flexibility Exercise – Exercise routines focused on improving flexibility and balance include tai chi and yoga. These exercises are intended to increase range of motion, improve balance, and strengthen muscles without causing your arthritis to act up.
Stretch for Morning Stiffness
best stretching for arthritis morning stiffness from WebMD to find out which stretch will benefit you most today.
Protecting Your Joints
There are a few things that are important to avoid when exercising with arthritis. For starters, check
Even more so, never jump into a vigorous exercise without a proper warm up. Slow, gentle stretches loosen your joints while boosting blood flow so your muscles are warmed and less likely to get injured. Applying a heat wrap before your exercise encourages circulation and will allow you to stretch deeper. If you are left feeling a little sore or tender after your workout, be sure to apply ice to your joints to prevent swelling and soothe the muscle.
with your doctor before introducing any strenuous workouts into your routine. If haven’t exercised regularly for some time, ensure you start slow with baby steps. Take ten minutes out of your day to go for a walk, bike ride or swim, to build your tolerance before pushing yourself harder.