Simple Exercises to Help Arthritis
Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., and affects three-quarters of people over the age of 60? Arthritis can affect joints in the fingers, knees, feet ankles, hips, back, and shoulders, and can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty moving your joints.
You might think having arthritis means that exercising is the last thing that you should do, but it’s actually the opposite. Exercise is extremely beneficial for people with arthritis as it helps to gain muscle and flexibility while also reducing pain on the affected joints.
There are several different physical activities that you can try to help with arthritis.
Aquatic sports can be very therapeutic for people with arthritis. The water’s buoyancy can reduce the impact on joints, and can improve cardiovascular fitness, balance, and range of motion. Heated pools can help soothe pain, and exercising in water requires more effort and burns more calories. Water walking and swimming are great exercises to do with arthritis.
Aerobic activities can help control your weight by the amount of calories burned during exercise. Being overweight can create more of a risk when it comes to arthritis because it adds extra pressure and stress to joints that are already affected. Walking, bicycling, and aerobic dance classes are just a few examples of aerobic activities that allow you to go at your own pace.
Muscle strengthening can help the muscles around your joints, which is important in maintaining bone support. Having strong muscles can support and protect the joints that are affected by arthritis. Weight lifting and working with resistance bands are just a couple of great exercises you can do.
As you age, you become more prone to falling. If you have arthritis it might increase your chances of having a potential fall. If you have arthritis, balancing activities like Tai Chi and yoga, along with simple activities like standing on one foot and backward walking can help you.
Don’t let arthritis slow you down. Just because you have arthritis doesn’t mean that you have to quit exercising or that it’s not safe for you to do it. It’s important to pay attention to what your body tells you. Find out which exercise best fits you and your arthritis.