Everyone needs exercise, but it's especially important for people with arthritis. Exercise increases strength and makes moving easier. Exercise reduces joint pain and helps fight tiredness.
Of course, when joints are stiff and painful, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem like too much. There's no need to run a marathon or swim for miles. Even moderate exercise can ease pain and help you stay at a healthy weight. In short, when arthritis tries to slow you down, exercise can keep you moving.
Why exercise is needed
The right kinds of exercise can improve health and fitness without hurting joints. Combined with a treatment program, exercise can add to quality of life. And it can:
Strengthen muscles around joints.
Help maintain bone strength.
Make it easier to sleep well.
Help control weight.
Bones need strong muscles for support. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles. Weak muscles put more stress on joints.
Exercises for arthritis
Exercises for arthritis might include exercises that put joints through their full range of motion and strengthening exercises. Exercise that raises heart rate, known as aerobic exercise, is also important.
Range of Motion Exercises
These exercises lessen stiffness and put joints through their full range of motion. Examples of these exercises are stretching arms up high or rolling shoulders forward and backward. Most of these exercises can be done every day.
These exercises help build strong muscles that can support and protect the joints. Weight training is an example of exercise that can help build and keep muscle strength. Using resistance bands, hand weights or machines can help build strength.
Weight training should be done every other day for at least two days a week. It should include all the major muscles in the body.