Benefits Of Exercise For Arthritis

Pain. Joint stiffness and swelling. Fatigue. Reduced or limited mobility. 

All of these symptoms, and potentially more, are painfully familiar if you or someone you love suffers with arthritis. 

But, the last thing you may be thinking of as a remedy for the pain you experience in your joints is…exercise?!? 

Sounds kinda silly, right? 

Your joints are swollen and painful, and when you keep them immobile the pain is diminished. So, why would anyone suggest exercise as a way to relieve that pain? 

Actually, exercise may be one of the best things you can do to relieve that pain! 

In fact, exercise can help arthritis sufferers in many more ways than you might think! 


Arthritis Explained

Arthritis is characterized by inflammation (sometimes severe) in one or more joints, resulting in pain and stiffness that can worsen over time. 

There are many types of arthritis, the term generally referring to any joint pain or disease. 

People of any age, including children, can suffer from arthritis symptoms. In fact, it is the number one cause of disability in America. 

The inflammation, pain, and stiffness of arthritis commonly get worse over time, even to the point where some sufferers become unable to perform common daily tasks. 

The damage that it causes to joints can be permanent, and some forms of arthritis can even affect other areas of the body such as the heart, kidneys, lungs, eyes, and skin. 

Thus far, this condition is sounding quite grim! 

So, is there any hope once you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis? 

Once diagnosed, experts agree that the most beneficial things you can do to keep your symptoms from progressing are: 

  • Learn all you can about the condition, fully knowing your options for treatment
  • Maintain a healthy weight, as added weight can hinder your condition
  • Incorporate physical activity into your daily life, making it a priority 

And, it’s that last point that we want to focus on today… the benefits of physical activity or exercise for arthritis.

Perhaps that one sounds a bit confusing. You are suffering from inflammation, pain, and stiffness in your joints, yet the advice for relief is to move more? 

It sure is! 

So, let’s take a look at how exercise can greatly benefit your body if you’re suffering with arthritis…

Arthritis And Exercise

A physical therapist once explained the benefit of movement in regards to arthritis like this: motion is lotion. 

To keep your joints fully mobile, relieving stiffness and the pain that can set in with that stiffness, you’ve gotta keep moving. 

Movement acts like a lubricant, allowing the joint to regain range of motion, soothing and working out the stiffness along the way. 

But, what about the pain, right? 

When in the midst of an arthritis flare-up, rest is important, but it’s a lack of activity that causes increases in muscle weakness, stiffness, reduced range of motion, and overall fatigue. 

So, aside from a flare-up, it’s important to remember: immobility is not a friend of arthritis. 

Pain will improve with movement over time, whereas immobility will undoubtedly, absolutely worsen your condition. 

So then, how can exercise benefit arthritis? 

Improves Balance
Improving balance can help to prevent falls, which are a nightmare to arthritis sufferers. 

Balance exercises can make your joints more stable, and they improve your ability to keep an upright position, maintaining proper posture (which is crucial for arthritis patients). 

A simple way to improve balance is to stand up with your weight evenly distributed to both sides of your feet. Then, lift one foot, while balancing on the other foot. Hold this for 5 seconds. Repeat on the other side, then seek to increase the amount of time you hold the position. 

Strengthens Muscles
Building muscle helps to both support and protect your joints. In the process of building muscle, you’ll also relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints through strength training exercises. 

For instance, when you build the muscles in your thighs, you reduce strain on your knees. 

Just remember, when doing strength training exercises, if a particular movement causes a great amount of pain, stop and seek options from a personal trainer or your physician. 

Increases Range Of Motion
The temptation with arthritis is to keep the areas that are painful immobile, such as keeping your knees bent if this is a source of pain. But, this causes further pain and potentially permanent damage. 

Exercises that involve stretching and/or flexibility benefit arthritis patients by increasing the mobility within joints as well as preserving mobility and flexibility. 

When doing range of motion exercises, seek to gently move your joint as far as it can go in the stretch, and then try to push it even farther, lengthening the stretch. Doing this regularly helps to maintain normal function within your joints. 

Reduces Joint Pain
When you regularly exercise, the muscles surrounding your joints become strong. It can also reduce the amount of bone loss you are susceptible to, and it can decrease that amount of swelling and pain within the joint. 

As my physical therapist would say…motion is lotion. And, it’s movement, or exercise, that replenishes lubrication to the cartilage within the joint, which diminishes pain and reduces swelling and stiffness. 

Helps Maintain A Healthy Weight
Regular exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help you to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you are overweight. And, this is paramount when it comes to arthritis! 

According to the CDC, “for every pound lost, there is a 4 pound reduction in the load exerted on the knee. That means a modest weight loss (5% or 12 pounds for a 250 pound person) can [greatly] help reduce pain and disability.”

Maintains Bone Strength
As we age, exercise is crucial for maintaining the strength of our bones. 

Regular exercise causes your bones to become more dense and it even causes your body to build more bone tissue. 

As some forms of arthritis can cause bone loss, and increase the risk of osteoporosis, making exercise a priority is critical.

Increases Energy
Arthritis is also known to cause fatigue. And, while it is sometimes important to pinpoint the cause of your fatigue, there’s no denying the fact that exercise can boost energy. 

Experts often point to lifestyle changes as the best remedy for fatigue, even in arthritis patients, and physical activity is a key lifestyle addition that can decrease fatigue and increase energy levels. 

Improves Posture
Exercise helps to improve your posture, aligning your spine. And, the alignment of your spine plays a huge role on the amount of pressure that is placed on your joints. 

Proper posture helps to keep your spine properly aligned which not only alleviates joint pain but reduces the amount of wear and tear on your joints as well. 

Best Exercises For Arthritis

So then, what kind of exercises should you be doing if you have arthritis? 

Obviously, running a marathon within the next week isn’t advised!

But, the following exercises or ways to be active can all be beneficial if you have arthritis (some of which we also briefly mentioned throughout the above section). 

  • Range of motion exercises such as gentle stretching and flexibility movements
  • Strength training exercises using either lightweight free weights to start out or resistance bands
  • Water exercises (not swimming) such as water aerobics

Overall, you should seek to find exercises that aren’t taxing on your joints, and ease into the activity if you are a beginner, gradually increasing both time and quality of exercise. 

**And, as always, if you have arthritis, plan to talk with your doctor about the best way to add exercise into your daily routine at a safe pace. 

Best Technique for Reducing Knee Pain?

ATTENTION: Men & Women Over 45 Struggling With Knee Pain…

Did you know there is proven method for reducing debilitating knee pain and helping you live pain-free

…That works faster and more effectively than any other?

Which do you think it is?

1. Yoga

2. Isometric Exercises

3. Plyometric Exercises

4. Weight Lifting

See if you get it right!

Or, if you’d rather skip to the correct answer…

Best Technique For Reducing Knee Pain Today <<<


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