Physical activity is among the most effective ways to combat the debilitating symptoms of arthritis such as joint pain and fatigue and to increase your muscle strength. Yet, the pain, fatigue and reduced range of motion associated with symptoms of arthritis can make it seem like exercise is a colossal undertaking.
Decreased physical activity can weaken the muscles supporting your joints to put added stress on the tissues, resulting in pain, stiffness, and soreness. Exercise offers a multitude of benefits to arthritis patients, such as better balance, flexibility, endurance, and energy.
Below are 5 exercises that can significantly help relieve your symptoms while improving your general quality of life.
A low-impact aerobic exercise that anyone can do regardless of their physical ability is walking. Walking helps to strengthen your bones and muscles, increase your range of motion, and relieve pressure and pain in joints. Strive to walk for at least 150 minutes every week to help alleviate arthritis symptoms.
2. Water Workouts
Water exercises can assist in minimizing joint tension and lessening physical discomfort as a result of water's ability to support the body's full weight. Water offers 12 times the resistance of air; therefore, water exercises are acknowledged for their capability to increase muscular strength, develop balance, and help maintain the motion of the joints. Start swimming laps, join a water aerobics class, or sign up for a water fitness class designed for physical therapy. Pools with this temperature between 82 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit, since warm water is especially beneficial for easing and soothing joint pain.
Yoga is not only gentle exercise but also a great way to build strength, improve joint function, reduce joint inflammation, and manage arthritis-related pain. When undertaking yoga, look for a qualified instructor who can show you a gentle, basic yoga routine for beginners that lets you perform movements and moves that protect you from injuring your joints, while improving your strength and flexibility. Where possible, it's best to avoid postures that require you to balance on one's feet or that twist the joint more than 90 degrees, as such activities could worsen symptoms if you're at a beginner's fitness level.
4. Hand Stretches
Arthritis in the hands can make simple daily tasks like using a computer or eating a meal during the day difficult, due to joint pain and swelling. Hand stretches and other hand exercises can ease joint pain and make the joints in your hands more flexible, resulting in an increase in the range of motion.
Stretch your fingers as widely as possible, make a fist, and repeat that same stretching and squeezing action at least 10 times with both hands. Also, stretch your fingers out then bend each finger and thumb down towards your palm one by one and hold for 2-3 seconds. These hand exercises should be practiced daily for improved relief of arthritis symptoms.
5. Strength Training
Strength training exercises such as weightlifting, push-ups, and squats strengthen bones and muscles to support joints, by reducing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Work with an experienced physical therapist or a fitness trainer to develop a strength-training routine based on physical activities that are safe and ideal for your particular arthritis.
Before your workout session, warm-up using gentle stretches to loosen your joints and decrease your risk of injuries that may worsen pain and swelling. Thereafter, try limiting strength training to times of day when you are the most flexible and free from arthritis symptoms.
Find Relief from Arthritis Symptoms
Talk to your doctor about the types of exercises most ideal for your arthritis symptoms and overall health. Your doctor can help you develop a personalized exercise plan, so you can benefit from the reduced risk of injury and improved arthritis symptoms.
Speak to your doctor about the exercises most ideal for alleviating your arthritis symptoms and preventing injury. Your doctor can create a custom exercise plan for you, which will help you reduce the increased risk of injury and associated arthritis issues.
See also: Living with Arthritis: The Guide