While exercise in arthritis is essential for everyone, for people with arthritis it is crucial. Exercise will help to improve strength and flexibility. It can also help to combat fatigue and joint pain that are common with arthritis sufferers. Although it seems antithetical, exercise can actually improve the painful symptoms associated with arthritis. Staying limber is key along with regular exercise.
Don’t Go Crazy
For arthritis suffers to see the benefits of exercise they do not need to compete in a triathlon. There are several simple exercises that one can do to see tremendous benefit.
In fact for those that suffer from arthritis they should be mindful of how strenuous the exercise is. Working too hard can actually do more damage than benefit.
Why Exercise in Arthritis is Essential
One of the main benefits of exercise for people with arthritis is the strengthening of muscles that occurs. Since arthritis targets joints, exercise is essential. It is imperative to maintain strength around those joints.
In addition, regular exercise can help to maintain bone strength and give you more energy throughout the day. It will also help you to sleep better, control your weight, and give you a higher quality of life.
Talk To Your Doctor First
We have all seen disclaimers on exercise regimens telling you to check with your doctor first before starting a new program. This is especially important for suffers of arthritis.
It is best to talk to your doctor about your desire to get more exercise. They are well equipped to help you create a program that is suitable for your particular situation.
Great Exercise Choices For Arthritis Sufferers
There are a number of exercises that are beneficial to arthritis suffers. Start out with some range of motion exercises. This can be as simple as moving limbs in a circular or back-and-forth motion.
A step up from the range of motion exercises is strength training. This common form of this exercise is weight training where you push muscles. For those with arthritis, you do not want to push yourself to the point of fatigue; benefits will be apparent with light repetitions. When doing this type of exercise it is important to remember that you focus on a different muscle group with each workout. You also do not want to repeat the same group on consecutive days.
Another great option is some form of aerobic exercise. For those that suffer from arthritis, low impact choices are best. Things like bike riding, using an elliptical machine, or swimming are great choices.
All Movement Is Good Movement
Even things that you may not think of as exercise can be beneficial to those who suffer from arthritis. This could be something as simple as taking your dog for a walk. Things like raking leaves from your backyard and doing the laundry incorporate subtle movements that will improve the mobility of your joints.
Exercise Recovery Is Vital
Remember that the important part of any workout regimen is the rest days. When you push your body to its limits, it needs days to rest and recover. In fact, these are the days when your body builds its muscles in preparation for the next workout. If you find that parts of your body hurt after a workout, make a point to put ice on these parts for 20 minutes after your workout and consider lightening the load the next time you perform those activities.
Some Basic Exercise Guidelines
Don’t overexert yourself by working out five days in a row if you are going to end up taking five days off afterward. Come up with a schedule that you can stick with. Error on the side of less, rather than more, to make sure your schedule is doable. The key to seeing benefits is consistency.
Once you have your schedule in place and you’re sticking to it then you can begin to up the intervals and the intensity if you desire. Do not go too high too fast and then do damage that will keep you from exercising in the future.
It is also very important for arthritis sufferers to listen to their bodies. If you are in a fair amount of pain on a day of a scheduled workout then by all means scale back the workout or cancel it altogether. That pain is your body telling you that it is not ready to work out so it is best to listen.
One thing to remember with starting a new exercise regiment is that your rest days are just as important as your exercise days. As your body begins to try to build up strength, it needs those rest days to do the building and prepare for the next work out.
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