Exercise and Arthritis

Exercise is very important for people with arthritis as it increases strength and flexibility, combats fatigue, reduces joints pain, improves endurance and also is of great benefit to the heart, bones, mind and mood.

However, it is not advisable to push yourself beyond the acceptable limits since the joints are already inflamed as this could be dangerous to your health. Hence, a doctor’s advice is not something to joke with when in this state. A resting period of 2 or 3 days is usually recommended during a flare-up. This should help your joints hit the reset button. It is also advisable to work with your doctor for the right exercises and skipping times when you experience pains.

I would discuss in subsequent paragraphs, gentle exercises and workouts for people with arthritis. However, bear in mind that bodies differ from each other and your body has its own way of telling you when you are going off limits.

Gentle Exercises

Walking

Except walking is too painful, this should be something easy for almost everyone with arthritis. As insignificant as walking may sound, it is a highly beneficial aerobic and bone strengthening activity. Taking a daily walk for about 10 minutes is just fine. Endurance can be built over time as the duration can be increased gradually. This can be done in three to five days in a week.

Cycling

This gentle exercise is good for arthritis patients with feet or ankle problems. Cycling, whether outdoor or indoor (sitting on an upright or recumbent exercise bike) avoids the pounding of high-impact aerobic activities. It is of great cardiovascular benefit. This can be done for 10 minutes for starters, with the aim of increasing the duration gradually. A frequency of thrice weekly is not a bad idea.

Gardening

Maintaining a beautiful garden could be such a great deal if you don’t love recreational exercise as an arthritis patient. Gardening however, helps you burn calories and boost pleasure-enhancing endorphins, easing the depression that can be associated with arthritis. As interesting as you may find gardening, knowing your limits is essential especially for patients with the wrist problem. This can be done weekly for about 30-45 minutes.

Weight Lifting

I know you must have wondered if this is a gentle exercise, especially when putting the arthritis patient into consideration. Well, I would say an emphatic yes! Here’s my take on it. It all depends on the weight in consideration. For people with arthritis, light hand weight of about 2-5 lbs. is a good idea. Endurance can then be built over time. Be careful not to push yourself beyond your limits. I know you need those muscles, stronger this time for your daily activities.

Yoga

This should work for almost everyone with any type of arthritis. It is very much advantageous in that it promotes a healthy immune system and helps reduce joint inflammation. Avoid power yoga, hot yoga and flow (Vinyasa yoga) that is going out of bounds! This is because it puts excessive pressure on your joints.

With a regular routine of the few gentle exercises discussed above, an arthritis patient will maintain an improved fitness level, reduced joints pain and more endurance over time!