The idea of exercise while in the midst of arthritis attack may not sound inviting, but suffering from arthritis doesn’t mean you have to avoid exercise altogether.
In fact, exercise can help combat arthritis pain in a number of ways, and you don’t need to engage in intensive workouts to do this.
How Exercise Helps
- Helps to strengthen the bones and muscles around the joints
- Helps improve circulation
- Promotes good night sleep
- Builds strength in muscles and joints
- Aids in weight control, which is crucial in relieving pressure on your muscles and joints
- Promotes an overall sense of well-being
- Helps improve sleep, diminish anxiety and prevent depression
While certain types of exercises may aggravate arthritis pain, the lack of it can do so as well. Immobilization is a big no-no if you suffer from arthritis, as it worsens the stiffness and can make even the smallest movements extremely painful.
Knowing which types of exercises are safe for your condition can help you reap the most benefits and avoid possible injuries from the activity.
Here are some of the best options in working out the body to ease the pain that plagues your life.
Best Exercises For Arthritis
A great fitness routine for arthritis is one that involves stretching, muscle strengthening workouts and also regular cardio to build endurance and strength. Of course, it is imperative to consult a physician before starting any exercise routine.
Stretching is a gentle exercise that can be done at anytime, anywhere. You can stretch while sitting in a chair or with the help of a nylon strap to aid in pulling your legs. As long as you do it safely and with proper form, regular stretching can be very beneficial to ease pain and stiffness.
It is also important to learn the proper moves, and be sure to not use weights that are heavier than you can handle. There are many great videos to follow to learn the proper movements, and also one can avail the services of a personal trainer or physical therapists to master exercises specifically intended for arthritis.
Doing exercises while being submerged in water can remove weight off of the muscles and joints, thus reducing impact and lessening arthritis pain. Exercising in warm water also aids in circulation and provides relaxation.
Additionally, water promotes strengthening of the extremities by adding resistance. Water aerobics, swimming laps, and walking in place are just some of the aquatic exercises you can engage in to relieve arthritis pain.
Another form of water therapy is hydrotherapy, which, is conducted in a physical therapy setting with a licensed specialist, ask your doctor.
Walking is a form of weight-bearing exercise that has been associated with a number of health benefits, including relief of arthritis pain.
By placing the full weight on your bones and joints, it can reinforce bone density. Walking is also the most accessible form of exercise, as there is no special equipment needed.
Having originated thousands of years ago, Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese exercise that involves a series of slow moving, graceful poses combined with specific breathing techniques.
Tai Chi is a good form of exercise for people with arthritis because of its low impact and low risk for injury. Tai Chi can also help strengthen the muscles, enhance flexibility, and improve range of motion.
Another form of ancient exercise, yoga is a practice that involves deep relaxation techniques, which are, effective in reducing muscle stiffness and joint inflammation.
However, certain forms of yoga may place excessive pressure on the joints, so make sure to work with an instructor who is experienced in helping clients with arthritis.
Whether done outdoors or on a stationary bike, cycling is a low impact exercise that helps improve hip and knee mobility for people with arthritis, and also strengthens the heart muscles. It is important to start slowly with short time slots, extending or shortening depending on your pain tolerance.
If you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, Pilates can help you strengthen your muscles and stabilize your joints. There are many Pilates workouts on DVD available so you can workout comfortably at home and then are also classes you can attend at a gym or a specialty studio.