Exercise for Arthritis Sufferers
By Sara Butler
Living with the daily discomfort of arthritis is something 46 million Americans do each day. Exercise can help to improve the quality of life and mobility for those suffering from arthritis, but getting motivated is difficult when you live with pain all day, every day. It’s important to realize exercise does make a difference if you know what exercises to do. Here are some suggestions for exercises that arthritis sufferers will find easy on their joints.
Stiff and sore joints can make daily tasks challenging. Even something as simple as opening a can or buttoning a shirt can be a chore. Flexibility training can help to increase your range of motion, so you can move with less pain. You should stretch each day to help prevent stiffness and soreness. Just make sure to avoid bouncing during stretches. They should be controlled and slow and you should never be in pain when doing them.
Muscle weakness is common in arthritis sufferers. The reduction in strength is usually a side effect of inactivity, inactivity caused by the pain of arthritis or side effects from medication. It’s important to improve your muscle strength because it helps to take the stress and strain off your joints, protects your joints, and absorbs shock. Just make sure to check with your chiropractor or doctor before starting a new strength training program. They know your health history and can provide recommendations for you based on it.
Activities that are weight-bearing, such as walking, help to keep your bones strong and also help to improve coordination and balance. Aerobic exercise can also help to improve your mood and reduce stress. You should aim for three or four days per week of aerobic exercise. To make it easier on your joints, you can:
- Choose water aerobics – Water exercise is great for people who have joint issues since water cushions the joints from shock. Water also helps to raise the temperature of your body, causing your blood vessels to dilate and circulation to increase.
- Walk – Walking is a great exercise and is kind to the joints. It’s a great exercise for those with arthritis to strengthen their joints and muscles.
- Don’t overdo it – It can be easy to do too much and aggravate inflammation in the joints. If you experience pain after exercise that lasts more than two hours, then you’ve overdone it.
Arthritis doesn’t have to hold you back from being active. Just make sure to do what you can to improve your health and wellness with exercise.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Durham, N.C.