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Exercise is Beneficial for Arthritis Sufferers

By Donna Stark

My daughter has advanced arthritis in both of her knees that developed after she sustained a serious sports injury seven years ago. That's seven years of pain and a lot of miserable days if you were to add them up, and honestly, she probably has a lot more of those days to look forward to. But the really devastating part of the situation is that she is only 20 years old, and unfortunately, a life filled with pain isn't only devastating to her. Millions of other people suffer from arthritis as well, and even though the pain can come and go in waves, for many, it has the potential to last a lifetime.

Exercising With Arthritis

When our bodies are hurting, it's our natural inclination to stop all exercise, but that can actually make the pain and our overall health worse. It's important to know that living with arthritis doesn't mean you have to give up your active lifestyle. In fact, low-impact exercise has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis while maintaining the body's overall health and wellness. Check out the following benefits of exercise.  

  • Alleviates joint pain, stress, and stiffness
  • Strengthens the muscles around your joints
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Increases strength, range of motion, and flexibility
  • Helps to maintain bone strength and a healthy weight
  • Restores quality sleep

Staying Fit With Arthritis

The thought of working out when your joints are screaming "No!" can certainly seem overwhelming, but staying active is a crucial component of living with arthritis pain. Take a look at the following ideas for low-impact exercises.

  • Swimming - Since the water supports the body, swimming is a perfect way to exercise with little to no stress on the joints. In addition to that, it is also a great way to increase your range of motion, strength, and endurance.
  • Walking - There are plenty of benefits that come from walking no matter how fast or slow you are, so lace up your shoes and head outside! Walking is a fantastic form of exercise for arthritis sufferers because it is easy on the joints and can be modified in intensity for each person's specific needs.
  • Tai Chi, yoga, and pilates - Incorporating these types of exercises into your fitness routine is a great way to reduce the pain and inflammation in your body. They help to increase your range of motion, strength, and flexibility, and are natural stress-reducers as well!
  • Dancing - Whether you join a Zumba class at the gym or sign up for some ballroom dancing, you're sure to have a good time while breaking a sweat. On top of that, this type of exercise is easy on the body and can be modified for different skill levels and intensity.

Enhance Your Quality of Life

The benefits of exercise for arthritis are numerous but you still need to listen to your body, so proceed with caution if your pain is severe or divide your exercise into smaller, more manageable blocks of time throughout your day. Just don't avoid it altogether. Your quality of life depends on it!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Culver City, Calif.

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