Arthritis and exercise don’t sound like they go together do they? If you have arthritis like I do, you will understand what I am saying. When you have a flare up and have swollen sore joints, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising. However, moving is very important to all, especially if you have arthritis. The best exercises for people who suffer from the pain and inflamation of arthritis are:
Flexibility exercises include stretching and range of motion. Stretching helps to alleviate stiffness in the joints and surrounding muscles. Stretching should be done slowly and gently, never bounce or push beyond your body’s ability. Stretching can be done daily or a least 3times per week. When stretching, try to hold the stretch from 10 to 30 seconds. Range of motion exercises improve mobility within specific joints. Active range of motion exercises can be done from 5 to 10 times daily as needed. Some examples of range of motion exercises are ankle & wrist stirs, knee lifts, shoulder squeezes. Flexibility exercises help to improve mobility, posture and alleviate stiffness. Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates are great for improving overall flexibility.
Strength exercises are very important to arthritis sufferers because they strengthen the muscles that support the joints, which helps to alleviate stress in and around the joint. This helps to prevent joint pain, further injury and bone loss. Strength exercises should be done 2/3 times per week. You can use light free weights, bands, your body against gravity, or even do exercises in the water which puts resistant on your body. Weight training, Pilates, water exercises are great for strengthening your body.
Aerobic or cardiovascular exercises are important for everyone, and also very helpful to those with arthritis because they help maintain weight, overall health, sleep, improve endurance and strength. Walking, swimming, cycling, spinning are great of examples of low impact aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises should be done for 30 minutes about 5 times per week. These times can be broken down into smaller increments to fit your busy schedule.
Body Awareness exercises improve your balance, coordination, posture, help you to relax and help to make you aware of how your joints are positioned in your body. These types of exercises are very important to people with arthritis. Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates are great to do because they incorporate all of these things.
Even if you don’t have arthritis all of these types of exercises will make you feel great.