Did you know exercising could actually help your joints?
Exercising is essential for those suffering from arthritis because it improves strength and flexibility, and reduces joint pain and fatigue.
Rest, which is often considered a cure, is misguided because doing nothing will actually weaken your muscles and increase your discomfort.
Exercise builds up the muscles around your joints, helps to preserve bone strength, gives you energy to get through the day, helps you sleep better, and improves your overall sense of wellbeing.
You may be discouraged from exercise because of constant pain and stiffness but regular gentle exercise can help alleviate these symptoms – as long as you exercise within your limits and comprehend your ideal level of exercise.
Moderate, regular exercise can ease your pain while helping you maintain a healthy weight. You do not need to run a marathon or swim 1000 laps to gain relief from your arthritis symptoms.
Range of motion exercises can alleviate stiffness and enhance your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion (eg rolling your shoulders forwards and backwards, raising your arms over your head).
Weight training can help maintain and strengthen your muscles, which in turn protects and supports your joints.
Low impact aerobic exercises can improve your overall fitness (eg walking, cycling, swimming).
Perhaps a dance class, Tai Chi or yoga is more to your liking. Any type of movement can assist, no matter how small.
Before embarking on a new exercise routine, discuss the options with your GP, physical therapist or pharmacist. It’s important you find the best plan to give you the most benefit with the least aggravation of your joints.