Arthritis can cause substantial joint pain. Thus, patients with this condition often struggle to stay active. That’s understandable. It’s difficult to move around when your joints ache. However, if you have arthritis, it is actually very important to exercise regularly. Some experts even consider exercise to be the most effective arthritis treatment that doesn’t require patients to take drugs.
That said, you shouldn’t jump straight into a new fitness routine if you have arthritis. It may not be safe to perform certain exercises. Use direct access to physical therapy to coordinate with an expert that can help to develop a workout plan that fits your needs and abilities.
The types of activities they recommend will vary on a case-by-case basis. In general, though, the exercises will belong to one of the following categories:
Aerobic exercise is good for everyone because it promotes cardiovascular health. It’s particularly important for arthritic patients because it also promotes weight loss.
When you lose weight, the amount of stress your joints are under reduces. Staying active and adhering to a fitness plan will help you not only achieve a healthy weight, but also maintain it.
Range-of-motion exercises typically involve simple movements designed to help reduce joint stiffness. An example would be rolling your shoulders backwards repeatedly. These exercises are ideal for patients with limited mobility because they can be performed easily and anywhere.
Your muscles protect your joints. Thus, it’s very important for people with arthritis to focus on exercises that strengthen muscles.
This usually involves some form of resistance exercise, such as lifting weights or doing push-ups. Again, you shouldn’t attempt such a routine on your own without speaking with your doctor and a professional first. Lifting weights is dangerous for anyone without the proper experience and information. By coordinating with a professional, you’ll avoid injuring yourself.
You should also stick to a low-impact activities that are easier on your joints. For instance, walking or jogging is a lot better for an arthritic person than sprinting through rocky terrain.
Applying heat to your joints before working out can also help prevent stiffness later. Apply cold packs to your joints after exercising to reduce inflammation. Of course, you should also stop working out if you feel yourself getting too tired or experiencing too much pain.
That’s less likely to happen if you develop a fitness plan with expert help first. Again, exercise offers major benefits to arthritic people. You’ll get the most benefits when you work out safely.