Exercise for arthritis

Physical exercise can be extremely useful for people with arthritis, frequently alleviating joint stiffness, making the muscles stronger, and thus decreasing strain on joints, helping to maintain cartilage and bone tissue health and strength, and boosting flexibility. The standard suggested minimum of activity is thirty minutes per day. Prior to starting any kind of workout program, however, it is essential that a person consult his or her physician to guarantee that there are no hidden risks. Nevertheless, almost all doctors advise physical workouts for patients who have arthritis.

The kinds of physical exercise recommended differ in some ways. Yet, the foundation of all kinds of workouts is the warm-up. It is best to put warm bandages on the joints when starting the warm-up, and then proceed to some slight stretching. A variety of movement exercises (such as dance or low-impact aerobics) is a good way to begin. These can ease rigidity and enhance flexibility. In addition, do not underestimate the efficiency of walking as a workout. Walking is an exercise that is very good for improving the arthritic state, and carrying one-pound weights while walking can improve the effects on the entire body. To stay motivated, make walking as interesting as possible. Try to walk in various surroundings and alternate it with dancing on other days. In addition, having a dance or walking partner is more enjoyable than doing walking or dancing alone, and can also help to motivate you.

Doing exercises in a swimming pool is a great method of working out, as well. Water can help you to a greater extent by providing resistance that will build muscle in your entire body, while at the same time lessening impact on the joints. Moreover, since the entire body has the tendency to engage itself in water exercises, a cardio workout is an added bonus. If possible, look for a heated swimming pool in which to exercise. Lukewarm water can soothe the joints as well as opening the blood vessels and increasing the circulation. In addition, making use of a spa after exercising can provide additional benefits because the warm water will soothe your muscles and aid with better circulation.

You may also want to try yoga. In general, yoga involves various stretching exercises and learning different poses, which is exceptionally useful in attaining flexibility and decreasing physical and mental stress. Hatha yoga is a mild form of yoga that is a great place to start. It includes mild stretching and easy posing that aids in balance and flexibility. It is also simple to learn and very enjoyable.

Even if you cannot take a walk, go to a swimming pool or do a yoga session, there are many workouts you can perform every day to develop strength, conditioning and flexibility. Whichever exercise plan you prefer, it is important to breathe properly while exercising. Oxygenation is very essential to any exercise routine because it helps us to maintain a healthy heart rate and lessens fatigue. Moreover, it aids us in circulation, which is very important in obtaining the strength and flexibility needed to fight arthritis. Be sure to listen to your body when exercising. Soreness and fatigue are just the usual things that occur while still getting used to a new exercise routine, but if they persist for a long time, such as for more than an hour, or if reduced mobility lasts for over an hour, it is recommended that you scale back your routine until the pain stops. Furthermore, check to see if there are any signs of intense joint inflammation or if you feel that you are getting weaker each day. If you are experiencing any of these reactions, then the activities in which you are engaged must be very tiring for you. Try to stop doing those for a while, and keep in mind that if you start them again, you should be sure to do them slowly from the beginning. Your aim is to boost flexibility.

Three major kinds of exercises that you can incorporate in a simple exercise plan include the following.

  • Range-of-motion workouts – These reduce stiffness and assist in the improvement of your flexibility. The term “Range-of-motion” pertains to the location in which joints can naturally move on a day-to-day basis. Range-of-motion exercises can be done each day; however, it is suggested that they be performed every other day.
  • Strengthening workouts – There are two kinds of strengthening workouts: Isotonic, which involves moving the joints for strengthening the muscles; and Isometric, which is contracting the muscles even without the movement of joints. It is suggested to perform these series of exercises on alternate days, except if you are experiencing more than soft swelling or pain in the joints.
  • Endurance workouts – The purpose of these exercises is to boost stamina. They also aid in developing your mental and inner personal strength, as well as developing better weight management and sleep habits. Several well-known stamina exercises include walking, stationary bike riding, and aquatic exercising – once again, except if you are experiencing more than soft swelling or pain in the joints. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise or two to three brief, ten-minute sessions each day are recommended, with a standard of three times per week.

Let us review all the exercise options, with a couple of guidelines:

  • Create your own distinctive workout plan so that it meets your own health requirements, environment and budget. Be sure that it is safe by consulting a certified healthcare professional, and if possible, an exercise trainer.
  • Treat yourself well. If something you are doing causes pain, immediately stop. Be sure to work into your route gradually by applying heat before warming up and exercising.
  • Have fun working out by making it a part of your everyday life. Incorporate strengthening, range-of-motion and stamina workouts into your schedule. Alter your routine by trying a brand-new session at a fitness club for three months, then go to a different place or join an environmentalist group for weekly walks in local recreation areas. Keep an active directory of fitness clubs and gyms near your area with their up-to-date sessions, timetables and voucher specials. You should also check the local announcement boards, clubs and gyms postings, newspapers, etc, for healthy events such as non-profit bike- and walk-a-thons and weekend walks that you can join.
  • Workout activities are accessible around you, so there is no need to spend money and waste time traveling far and wide. Exercise books, DVDs, videos, and cassettes can be borrowed from the public library. You can be active by cleaning your house, car, your cabinets, children’s rooms, pets, washing windows – just about anything. You can also earn money by taking jobs such as walking to distribute flyers, coupons and local newspapers.

Always be sure to seek the advice of a medical professional before incorporating a new exercise routine into your lifestyle.


Last updated on Mar 6th, 2009 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Exercise for arthritis”

  1. Noel says:

    Using a variety of exercises and having fun are two guidelines that helped me get in better shape. In addition, take the time to search for the free information on the web or in a library rather than buying books or other resources.

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