The onset of arthritis doesn’t mean the end of physical activity. Try these exercises for joint-friendly options if you are worried about arthritis.
Despite how tempting it may be to rest stiff, aching joints, it is important for arthritis sufferers to maintain regular exercise. In addition to helping reduce inflammation and stabilising joints, the right arthritis exercise program has a huge range of other benefits. These exercises for arthritis can also increases energy, help maintain bone / muscle mass and boost heart & brain health. Believe it or not, the below exercises for arthritis can also help fight the ageing process. With exercise offering so many benefits, we’d be mad to let arthritis stop us from doing it. (NOTE: if your arthritic pain is truly too severe to allow exercise, it is critical that you contact your health professional for assistance).
Let’s take a look at some of the ‘joint-friendly’ exercise options available to arthritis sufferers:
Swimming is a great low-impact option that gives your entire body a workout. With your joints suspended in water, the pain associated with other stop-start exercises like tennis or high-impact exercises like running is hugely reduced. In addition to being a great whole-body exercise, swimming is an excellent way to unwind. Try swimming once or twice a week, but be sure to compliment it with some weight bearing exercises like walking to help maintain bone health.
Like swimming, cycling is low impact, meaning less pressure is placed on your joints. A great lower body and cardio workout, you can choose between getting out on the road and getting some fresh air or saddling up on the exercise bike at your local gym.
Warning: resistance training for arthritis sufferers should be approached with caution. Poor technique or pushing yourself to lift heavy weights can cause damage to arthritic joints. However, if done correctly, you can build muscle and the strength of joints. This results in greater joint stability and can help arthritic symptoms. If you are interested in starting weight training for arthritis, we recommend you contact a professional fitness trainer.
Walking is another low impact exercise that gives significant benefit to arthritis sufferers. Find a walking buddy to keep you motivated, and try to find different routes to walk to keep things interesting. Keeping the pace up will help ensure you raise your blood pressure to get the blood pumping. Aim for 30-45 minutes 4 times a week, and keep the pace sufficient that you are puffing slightly.
Pilates is a great way to relax whilst strengthening muscles that support and stabilise your joints. It consists of a range of stretches, poses and exercises that focus on getting your body moving in unison. It can also increase your flexibility, which can also help reduce arthritic pain. Many community centres offer pilates classes for free or a small fee because it has such wide-ranging benefits. If you are interested in trying pilates, ask your local doctor, community centre or gym.
Do you suffer from arthritis? Let us know your favourite way to exercise in the comments section below.
This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on dealing with arthritis, visit www.health365.com.au.