Exercising with Arthritis: Important Things to Keep in Mind

Exercise is important for people with arthritis. It improves flexibility and strength, minimizes joint pain, and helps deal with fatigue. Of course, when stiffness and pain in the joint are already troubling you, the thought of doing workouts or jogging can seem stressful.

But you don’t need to do intense gym workouts or running to ease arthritis symptoms. Even a light workout can help reduce pain as well as help you maintain your weight.

When arthritis impacts your mobility, exercises help you keep moving. It strengthens the muscles around the joints; helps you control weight; improves the quality of sleep and improves your balance as well.

Though you might be avoiding exercise just because you think that it can hurt your affected joints, it is just a misconception. Not doing any workout actually can aggravate the pain and stiffness in the joint. This is because the strength of muscles and surrounding tissues is important for the support of the bones. A lack of physical activity can weaken those supporting muscles, increasing stress on the joints.

Ask Your Doctor First:

First of all, consult your doctor about the right workout for the condition of your joint. What types of workouts can go well depends on your arthritis type as well as which joints are involved. Your doctor or a physical therapist can work with you to create the right exercise plan.

Choose the Low Impact Workout:

Your physician or therapist can suggest exercises for you, which might include strengthening exercises, range of motion exercises, aerobic exercise, and other activities.

Range of motion workouts helps relieve stiffness and improve your ability to move the joints through their full range of motion. For example, you can raise the arms over the head or rolling the shoulders forward and backward.

Strengthening workouts help you build strong muscles to support and protect your joints. It is important to take a rest a day between your workouts. And avoid doing the same muscle groups two days in a row.

Aerobic workouts can support your overall fitness as they can control your weight, improve your cardiovascular health and increase your stamina and energy. Walking and bicycling are two of the easiest aerobic workouts.

Always Warm Up:

Make sure to warm up before doing any workout. A warm-up slowly revs up your cardiovascular system by increasing your body temperature and improving blood flow to your muscles. Warming up can also help ease muscle soreness and reduce the risk of injury. Start slowly and get up to speed once you feel“warmth” in your muscles and joints.

Apply Heat Before Doing Workout:

You can also warm up the muscles by applying heat to relax your muscles and joints before you start any workout. Heat treatments—hot packs, a shower, or warm towels—should be comfortably warm and applied for nearly 20 minutes.

Apply Cold Compress After Doing Workout:

If you experience joint swelling after doing workouts, you can ease it using a cold compress. Cold can minimize swelling, inflammation, and pain caused by arthritis and activity. You can use heat compress before a workout and cold therapy after exercise. It is easy to make a cold compress. Just wrap some ice cubes in a towel or place a damp towel in a plastic bag in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. Then use the towel and place it on the affected parts. Avoid applying direct ice to the affected area.

Do It Slowly:

Don’t get carried away by the intensity you feel during the workout. Always use slow and gentle movements. If you experience pain or swelling, make sure to take a break.

So these are some workout tips you should practice if you have arthritis. It is all about consulting your doctor and doing the workouts more safely. What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!

 

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