I work with a fair number of people with arthritis through my position at the Physical Activity Line. It may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you have arthritis, but the fact is regular physical activity is beneficial. Here are three ways physical activity can help alleviate arthritis pain.
Decreases stress on painful joints:
Try strength training to increase muscle strength and endurance. Strong muscles keep joints in place and decreases pressure on them. Keeping your muscles strong will help you complete daily activities like carrying shopping bags or raking leaves.
Go for a walk, bike ride, or a swim – aerobic activities like these are a crucial part of arthritis management. These activities increase stamina so you can go about your daily life with less fatigue; help you maintain a healthy weight; and improve your mood.
Maintains range-of-motion (how much movement a joint has):
Make physical activity part of your regular routine to keep your joints working like a well-oiled machine. Being active retains the spongy properties of your cartilage and lubricates your joints. It maintains and can even improve your range-of-motion, making reaching for that top shelf or picking something off the floor easier.
If you’re concerned that being physically active will increase pain or worsen your situation, here’s what I recommend:
- Work with a qualified exercise professional at the Physical Activity Line (8-1-1) to help develop a plan that works specifically for you; for FREE!
- Contact your local community centers or YMCA’s about arthritis- specific exercise classes.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your sneakers, grab your swimsuit, and let’s get moving!
Stay Fit for Health and Independence as You Age!