The following information is brought to you by The Arthritis Foundation
Want to fight your osteoarthritis? Get off the couch! Moving is the best medicine to fight osteoarthritis pain.
Regular, moderate exercise offers a whole host of benefits to people with arthritis. Mainly, exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness, builds strong muscle around the joints, and increases flexibility and endurance. It reduces inflammation from arthritis and related conditions and lowers the risk of other chronic conditions. It also helps promote overall health and fitness by giving you more energy, helping you sleep better, controlling your weight, decreasing depression, and giving you more self-esteem. Furthermore, exercise can help stave off other health problems such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
So, it’s obviously a no-brainer. You’ve got to move. But sometimes it’s not so easy to get started. When you’re achy and sore, the last thing you want to do is exercise.
Starting an exercise program can seem like a daunting proposition. The important thing to remember is to start slow and make it fun. It is always good to start with flexibility exercises, which are basically stretching exercises that will improve your range of motion and help you perform daily activities. (Watch these stretching exercise videos to get started.) Once you feel comfortable you can move on to weight training and endurance exercises such as bicycling.
Videos brought to you by Arthritis Today.
You may be reluctant to exercise because you are in such pain. If this is the case you may want to start with a water exercise program. In the water, your body’s buoyancy reduces stress on your hips, knees, and spine while building strength and increasing range of motion. There are many aquatic programs and exercises that are great for people with arthritis. Try water walking, for example. Water provides 12 times the resistance of air, so you’re getting a great workout without the wear and tear on your joints.
Join us next week as we talk about How to Move and How Much to Move