It’s a little known fact that exercise can actually help improve the lives of people who suffer from arthritis.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention aerobic activity can help lessen the effects of joint pain and stiffness, while improving flexibility, mobility, mood, general health and well-being.
As more and more Americans over the age of 65 are diagnosed with the condition, FHC, a Chicago Home Care Service, created a list below to help raise the awareness about the benefits of exercise in arthritic patients.
For many with the condition it’s difficult to even imagine swimming and biking with joint pain and discomfort.
But Patience White, M.D., M.A., vice president of public health at the Arthritis Foundation says for arthritis patients, lupus and even fibromyalgia a low-impact exercise routine may not know only help patients lose weight, but also help manage the disease, as well.
Of course, if you’re receiving outpatient services or otherwise, it’s recommended that you talk to your doctor or physical therapist to develop an exercise program that’s tailored for you.
Some of the advantages of exercise for people with arthritis include: improved muscle flexibility, reduction of pressure on joints, maintenance of the health and strength of bone and cartilage tissue, preservation of joint structure and function and increase in endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
As mentioned before, it’s probably a good idea to begin with some type of low-impact workout. This could consist of swimming, biking or running for endurance and stretching for joint function.
As you get more comfortable in your movement, endurance exercises can be added to your routine.
An example of a low-impact workout would consist of warm up, stretching and range of motion exercises – designed to maintain healthy joint function.
Aqua Aerobics are ideal because they help relieve pressure on the joints while providing resistance training.
Isometrics are exercises that help strengthen the muscles and require no joint movement. This involves an alternating series of isolated muscle flexes and moments of relaxation.
Chair stands are a good way to strengthen the legs.
Experts recommend beginning with 10 reps using a kitchen chair to control your motion while slowly sitting and standing.
Use your arms to move your body and as you gain more strength, use only your legs to control your motion.
Aerobic exercise coupled with a healthy diet is helpful for weight loss. This is key for people with joint problems or those that are receiving arthritis care because it helps reduce extra pressure on the joints.
It’s advised to start with about 10 minutes of aerobic exercise a day – walking, swimming, biking, skiing – increasing that to about 30 minutes as you build endurance.