Even if you have arthritis, it is important to get enough physical activity to maintain and improve your overall health. Arthritis can present barriers to activity, such as painful joints and the fear that exercise will worsen your symptoms. Did you know that many forms of exercise such as swimming, biking and brisk walking are easy on the joints? These exercises can be done regularly by individuals who have arthritis.
An arthritis exercise program should be started with the approval of a physician and preferably under the guidance of an exercise specialist or physical therapist. These health professionals can create an individual program for you, monitor your progress and give you exercises to complete at home.
An arthritis exercise program should include range of motion, strength and aerobic exercises.
- Range of motion exercises promote joint motion as far as possible without pain. The purpose is to reduce pain/stiffness and improve joint function. These are usually done as a warm up before other activities.
- Strength exercises strengthen the muscles around a joint to increase structural support. This lessens the load placed on them. Strength exercises should be completed three to four times per week.
- Aerobic exercise activities should be low impact such as swimming, biking or walking. Aerobic exercise will improve overall fitness and should be completed 30 minutes per day on most days of the week.
Exercise is necessary to reduce symptoms of arthritis and prevent further health complications. Often people who have arthritis become less active and ultimately begin to experience other health-related issues because of the decrease in activity. Stay active to maintain and improve your overall health.
Please note that health information on this website is for educational purposes and is not intended to replace advice from your physician or other healthcare professionals.