There are several different forms of arthritis, and it can attack people without warning. People most likely to get osteoarthritis are the elderly, and those who have suffered injuries to joints in the past. When you’re faced with pain in a joint, the instinct is often to rest it but that’s not always the best policy for long-term benefits. Not only does exercise for arthritis improve flexibility, strength, and stamina, but it can also help to reduce pain. And you’ll find you tire less easily when you’re in better shape.
Benefits of Exercise
According to rheumatologists, exercise is good for:
- Strengthening the muscles around the affected joint(s)
- bone density
- better sleep
- helping to maintain weight
- improving motivation and self-esteem
Moderate Exercise For Arthritis Is Best
No one with severe arthritis is expected to compete in the Olympics, and you don’t need to be able to run a marathon in order to improve your fitness level. While it’s always safest to consult your doctor first, he or she will probably encourage you to start a moderate form of exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or basic strength training. Once you find you’re becoming more active, you can gradually increase the amount and intensity of your exercise program, or add different forms or exercise for arthritis.
Different Types of Exercise
To really help improve your overall fitness, it’s best to include all types of exercise: aerobic (eg. swimming, cycling) which helps the cardiovascular system and stamina; strength training (eg. weight training) which helps muscle strength and bone density; and flexibility (eg. yoga and stretching). Any form of exercise, however, should be started gradually and stopped if inflammation or severe pain occurs.
Plenty of Choices
If gardening and swimming aren’t for you, then you could try other forms of moderate exercise like ballroom dancing, hiking, or Tai Chi. It needn’t be boring, and it’s a great way to make new friends. You may even find you want to get a little competitive, which is great for motivation.
Get the Gear
When you decide which activity or sport takes your fancy, you’ll need to ensure you’re properly equipped. If you’re going walking for instance, a cheap pair of sneakers with poor support could make your joints worse, so a good pair of walking shoes or boots is essential. Similarly, you’ll need a warm, waterproof jacket to keep the elements at bay. You can find a full range of clothing, footwear and equipment at e-outdoor.co.uk.
It’s no fun dealing with the pain and stiffness of arthritis, but if you convince yourself to get active, you should find that life quickly becomes easier and more enjoyable!