How to Continue Exercising With Arthritis

If you have arthritis, it’s no secret that pain, stiffness or fatigue get in the way of getting you moving. However, there are many benefits to staying active while having arthritis. We’ve gathered some tips to get you started!

Why is exercising with arthritis important?

For starters, exercising helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise is a vital part of improving your health and fitness without hurting your joints. They list the most important benefits of incorporating exercise into your current treatment plan:

  • Strengthens the muscles around your joints
  • Helps you maintain bone strength
  • Gives you more energy to get through the day
  • Makes it easier to get a good night’s sleep
  • Helps you control your weight 
  • Enhances your quality of life
  • Improves your balance

Aim for low impact.

Whenever you are exercising with an injury, the last thing you want to do is inflame that injury. Working out with arthritis is best done when starting with low impact exercise such as speed walking, swimming, yoga, or riding a stationary bike or elliptical machine. 

Dedicate time to exercise, but know your limits

If you are serious about getting active, it’s important to plan out when you’ll do these workouts on your calendar. Great ways to incorporate workouts is by working in your garden, walking your dog, or taking the stairs instead of an elevator. These are small ways to increase your physical activity throughout the day. When you add 20-30 minutes of exercise on top of that, the more you will reach your maximum benefit. 

It’s important to start out slow with only 20-30 minutes of exercise at a time. If you have arthritis, you need to ease yourself into any new exercise programs and cater it to your condition to ensure no further damage is done. When these small increments start to feel to easy, that is a good sign it may be time to increase your exercises!

Inquire with your physical therapist

Any time you are adding a new exercise program to your daily activities, it’s important to first run it by your doctor or physical therapist. A professional can best guide you into the right programs and exercises to ensure you are benefitting from your exercises, and not further injuring yourself.

Having arthritis doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You can still get back out there and find the right exercise plan to keep you active. Follow these steps and you’re guaranteed to feel the benefits!

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