If you have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, chances are you’ve heard this advice before: exercise can be very beneficial to your joint and muscle health. Studies have shown that exercise can help reduce many of the often-painful symptoms that are associated with the disease. Improved joint mobility, increased muscle strength, and overall better health are just some of the benefits of exercise.
Before you start any exercise regime, make sure to visit with your doctor and nutritionist. They will help you establish a safe exercise regime that is effective but which guards against injury. What sort of exercises might your doctor or therapist recommend for you? The types of physical activities that are recommended will depend on your particular condition. However, in general, it is recommended that arthritis patients focus on low impact exercises that tone the body, retain and increase your flexibility, and improve posture. These health goals are all important for arthritis patients. In general, recommended exercises fall into one of three main categories. These are mobility exercises, aerobic exercises, and strength exercises. Mobility exercises are those that seek to improve the patient’s ability to stay flexible and retain or improve their range of motion. Aerobic exercises are those that improve overall cardiovascular fitness. Strength exercises include weight-bearing exercises that help build muscle strength and improve joint flexibility and stability.
For your mobility exercise, consider yoga or Tai Chi. These activities are low impact and can improve flexibility and range of motion considerably when done on a regular basis. Strength exercises that are suitable for arthritis sufferers include low impact weight training and some kinds of water exercises. Aerobic exercises that are recommended for arthritis sufferers include low impact activities such as walking or cycling. These help improve cardiovascular fitness while still strengthening joint health. Other exercises that are recommended for arthritis patients include all types of water exercises (including swimming), chair exercises, dancing, and stretching exercises.
Remember that your exercise routine should be gentle enough so that it does not aggravate your arthritic symptoms. Even though some kind of regular physical activity is key for arthritis patients, it is also important to integrate periods of rest into your schedule. Never exercise if one or more of your joints feels hot or pained. Any feelings of warmth or hotness means that your joints are inflamed, and you should never exercise on inflamed joints or muscles. What can you expect from your exercise routine? After roughly six weeks of regular exercise you can expect to notice that your balance has improved. Your posture will also be improved, especially if you have integrated mobility exercises into your exercise routine. Exercise can also be an important means for prevention. Prevention is an important part of staying healthy as an arthritis patient. Exercise can slow or stop inflammation considerably. It can help nourish the joints, reduce the instances of joint deformity, maintain bone density, and help prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Furthermore, exercise is an important step toward weight maintenance, which is also key for all arthritis patients.