Osteoarthritis and Exercise Can Go Together!
By Donna Stark
You know you should exercise, but you're worried. You want to exercise, but you don't want the pain to increase. But what makes it worse, is that most of the people around you just don't seem to understand. Living with osteoarthritis is more than just challenging. It can be debilitating, and if you weren't suffering from it, chances are you would be at the gym every day. So what are you supposed to do? How can you maintain good health while trying to manage the daily pain?
Osteoarthritis and You
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the joints in the body and typically worsens over time. It often occurs in the knees, hips, neck, and shoulders, but can even affect the smaller joints in the fingers and toes too. In other words, it can completely ravage the body with pain, swelling, and inflammation, so it is completely understandable if the thought of exercise worries you. But here's another thought to think about ... exercise can actually improve this condition. How? Take a look.
- Improves joint function
- Increases balance and stability
- Reduces stiffness
- Restores joint mobility
Exercise Is Important
Now that you see how exercise can help your condition, are you wondering what types of exercise you should choose? Well, you definitely don't want to sign up for any extreme sports! You may also want to shy away from high-impact exercises like running, intense hiking, or jump roping. What you do want to look for are low-impact exercises that you could benefit from. Here are some suggestions.
- Swimming - Exercising in water is a terrific option because it isn't just low-impact, it has zero impact on your joints! Grab your suit and dive in to increase your heart rate, burn calories, and get those joints moving safely.
- Bicycling - If spending all your time in the water causes your skin to wrinkle, you can always pull out your bike for a safe way to exercise. Riding a bike has little to no impact on your joints and will help increase your strength and cardiovascular fitness (which is great for your heart, too!).
- Walking - Although there is some impact with walking, it is still considered a low-impact workout. Just be sure to start slowly and wear shoes that have adequate cushioning and good arch support. Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of walking into your everyday routine.
Stop Worrying, You Can Exercise!
Adding the exercises above into your daily routine is a great way to restore joint function, increase mobility, and enjoy life more! But the best part about doing so is that you will also be able to stop worrying. So start today! And feel better in no time.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Weston, Fla.