Why Exercises Is Important When You Have Arthritis

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Exercise is so important for people with arthritis. It can increase strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Understandably, when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem overwhelming.

The good news is that it isn’t necessary to run a marathon or compete like an Olympic competitor to help reduce arthritis symptoms. The truth moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight. When arthritis menaces and threatens to immobilize you, exercise keeps you moving.

Why Exercises Is Important When You Have Arthritis

Exercise can assist you in improving your health and fitness without hurting your joints. With your current treatment program, exercise can:

  1. Help you control your weight
  2. Strengthen the muscles around your joints
  3. Help you maintain bone strength
  4. Enhance your quality of life
  5. Give you more energy to get through the day
  6. Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
  7. Improve your balance
Though you might consider that exercise will aggravate your joint pain and stiffness, that’s not the case. Truthfully, the lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, thus, creating more stress on your joints.

Tips to protect your joints

As a rule, start slowly to ease your joints into exercise if you haven’t been active for a while. If you push yourself too hard, you can overwork your muscles and worsen your joint pain. Trust your instincts and don’t exert more energy than you think your joints can handle. Take it easy and slowly increase your exercise length and intensity as you progress.
Tips as you get started:
  • Move gently. Try to move your joints gently at first to warm up. Begin with range-of-motion exercises for five to 10 minutes before you move on to strengthening or aerobic exercises.
  • Go slowly. Exercise with slow and easy movements and remember that pain equals stop. Sharp pain and pain that is stronger than your usual joint pain might indicate something is wrong. Slow down if you notice swelling or redness in your joints.
  • Keep the impact low. Low impact exercises such as stationary or recumbent bicycles, elliptical trainers, or exercise in the water can help keep joint stress low while you move.
  • Apply heat. Heat relaxes your joints and muscles and helps to relieve any pain you have before you begin. Heat treatments such as warm towels, hot packs or a shower, should be warm (not painfully hot) and should be applied for about 20 minutes.
  • Ice afterward. Apply ice to your joints for up to 20 minutes as needed after activity, especially after an activity that causes joint swelling.

The Takeaway

Physically active individuals are often healthier, happier and live longer than those who are inactive and unfit. This is especially true for people with arthritis. However, arthritis is one of the most common reasons people give for limiting physical activity. Follow these tips tho help you learn how exercising with arthritis can improve your overall quality of life.

Xtreme Fitness and Cycling provides friendly, personal attention to its members, helping them stay fit, active and healthy. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, our helpful staff is trained to assist you in effectively reaching your goals. Contact us today!

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