Exercises for Arthritis

Stiff joints caused by arthritis can make it difficult to do daily tasks. Exercise can help relieve the pain.

Experts agree that regular exercise for arthritis is important for staying healthy, staying flexible and relieving joint pain.  

Where to Start

Please consult with your physician before beginning a program of exercises for arthritis.  Your doctor will be able to recommend which exercises are good for your particular condition.  

With that being said, there are three important types of exercise for arthritis sufferers:  Range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises and cardiovascular exercise.

Range-of-Motion

These types of exercises for arthritis involve gentle stretching and flexibility for your joints.  By moving your joints through their normal range-of-motion, such as raising your arms over your head or rolling your shoulders forward and back, you will relieve joint stiffness, increase your ability to move your joints and can help your muscles to warm up for more strenuous activities.  Basic stretches, yoga and tai chi are all good ways to incorporate flexibility exercises into your daily routine.

Strengthening Exercises for Arthritis

When you have arthritis, it is important to build strong muscles in order to reduce stress on your joints.  Strong muscles will keep your joints stable and help protect them from injury.  Take your range-of-motion exercises a step further and do some bicep curls, overhead presses and leg lifts with hand weights or resistance bands.  These exercises can be done every other day as tolerated. 

Cardiovascular Exercise for Arthritis

You don’t need to train for a marathon for cardiovascular exercise to be effective.  Getting your heart rate up while doing any physical activity will make your heart, lungs and muscles all work more efficiently and improve your overall well-being.  Cardiovascular exercise will also help you to control your weight and reduce your stress levels.  Walking, swimming, low-impact aerobics and biking are all good examples of exercises for arthritis that you can do at least three times a week.  

When you have arthritis, it is tempting to avoid physical activity because of joint pain.  But the reality is, when you do some specific exercises for arthritis, you can improve you flexibility, muscle strength and overall physical well being.  

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