You may think
that exercise and arthritis do not go hand in hand. If so, you would be
mistaken. It was thought for many years that if you had arthritis you should not
exercise because it would damage your joints. Now, however, research has shown
that exercise is an essential tool in managing your arthritis.
exercise offers a whole host of benefits to people with arthritis. Mainly,
exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness, builds strong muscle around the
joints, and increases flexibility and endurance. But it also helps promote
overall health and fitness by giving you more energy, helping you sleep better,
controlling your weight, decreasing depression, and giving you more self-esteem.
Furthermore, exercise can help stave off other health problems such as
osteoporosis and heart disease.
exercise program can seem like a daunting proposition. The important thing to
remember is to start slow and make it fun. It is always good to start with
flexibility exercises, which are basically stretching exercises that will
improve your range of motion and help you perform daily activities. Once you
feel comfortable you can move on to weight training and endurance exercises such
as bicycling. You may be reluctant to exercise because you are in such pain. If
this is the case you may want to start with a water exercise program. In the
water your body's buoyancy reduces stress on your hips, knees, and spine.
program can include anything from walking around the block, taking a yoga class,
or playing a round of golf. In this section we've attempted to give you all the
information you will need on how to start exercising and the proper way to
incorporate exercise into the management of your arthritis.
program you decide on you should always consult with your doctor before starting
out. Two other types of health professionals that can help you develop an
exercise program that fits your specific needs are a physical or occupational
therapist. A physical therapist can show you the proper techniques and
precautions when performing certain types of exercise. An occupational therapist
can show you how to perform daily activities without putting additional stress
on your joints and can provide you with splints or assistive devices that can
make working out more comfortable.