Exercising when you have arthritis can prove challenging. Your body may not be able to handle certain exercise regiments that it used to be able to handle. Your joint pain may be so high that you don’t want to exercise. Compiled below is a list of tips that can help you when deciding how to incorporate exercise into your daily life without making your arthritis worse.
- Talk with your doctor
The first step you should take is to talk to your doctor. Ask them the best way to incorporate exercise into your treatment plan and if it’s even going to be possible. They are the best to give you the best advice when it comes to your body.
- Strengthening exercises
Strengthening exercises, like weight training, will help build your muscles to assist in supporting your joints. One great exercise to do if you want to focus on building leg muscles is a simple chair stand. It will help you control the motion in your legs as they get stronger.
- Range-of-motion exercise
Believe it or not, raising your arms above your head can help you! Range-of-motion exercises will relieve stiffness and increase your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion.
- Aerobic exercises
Perhaps the best type of exercise to include in your treatment plan is aerobic exercise. Not only does it help with your joint pain, but it also helps your overall fitness, cardiovascular health, controls weight, and provides more stamina and energy.
There are some specific guidelines and tips you can follow to help protect and preserve your joints during your treatment plan and exercise regiment.
- Keep impact low
Elliptical machines and water workouts are the best examples of a low-impact workout. You’re still exercising and getting the aerobics you need but still maintain safety when it comes to your joints.
- Apply heat
Heat is known to help relax your joints before you set out to exercise. By applying warm towels, hot packs, or even grabbing a hot shower before workouts, you can relax your joints and body. Keep in mind you should only be applying heat for about 20 minutes before your workout.
- Go slowly
While exercising, your movements should be slow and easy. You should also be paying close attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel pain, take a break. If it persists or you notice swelling in your joints, take it even slower and easier during your workouts.
- Ice afterward
After your workout is complete, apply ice to your joints for up to 20 minutes. This will help relieve any swelling you may be experiencing.
There is a way to exercise in a healthy and safe manner and following these simple tips will enable you to still get your workout in if you are suffering from arthritis.