6 Reasons Arthritis Patients Should Exercise

Exercise While Respecting Your Limitations

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Do you think the typical arthritis patient cringes when someone mentions exercise? Or, do they jump up and say when do we start? Would it surprise you to learn that data from a national survey revealed that 37% of people with arthritis get no exercise, despite the potential benefits?

Exercise Is Beneficial for Arthritis Patients

Just about everyone realizes exercise is beneficial even if they don't participate in regular exercise.

Some people fear that exercise will cause arthritis flares -- as well as increase joint pain and joint stiffness. The opposite is true. Proper exercise helps decrease joint pain and stiffness.

Reasons Why Exercise Is Important

Let's review for one moment why exercise is so important for arthritis patients. Exercise can:

1) strengthen the muscles that surround your joints
2) maintain and improve bone strength
3) improve overall strength and energy
4) help you achieve good sleep
5) help with weight management
6) improve your mood, confidence, and overall well-being

Get Advice

You should consult your doctor or physical therapist to decide what type of exercise would be most beneficial for you. For example, range-of-motion exercises help you move your joints through their full range of motion. Strengthening exercises build muscles. Aerobic exercises build endurance.

If regular exercise just isn't your thing, become interested in a physical activity that you will do religiously.

Consider activities like walking, bicycling, swimming, tai chi, and yoga -- to name a few. Move beyond any fear you may have that exercise or regular physical activity will make your arthritis worse. What you really should fear is -- INACTIVITY.

Sources:

Staying Active As You Age. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

October 2007.
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00103

Exercise and Arthritis. American College of Rheumatology. June 2006.
http://www.rheumatology.org/public/factsheets/diseases_and_conditions/exercise.asp?aud=pat

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