Dec 06,2014: To get started safely, talk to your doctor first. Consulting with a physical therapist will be helpful as well, as this fitness professional is trained to build specific exercise programs to address the sore joints, aches, and any limitations you might be feeling.
Arthritis can cause pain, stiffness and often inflammation in one or more joints or muscles. Regular exercise can reduce some of the symptoms of arthritis, and improve joint mobility and strength. Regular, exercise can have many benefits for people with arthritis. Exercise can facilitate joint nourishment, ease pain and joint stiffness, and improve flexibility, build muscular strength and improve balance, reduce joint deformity and improve postureprevent or manage osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) by maintaining bone density, improve overall health and fitness, and lower stress levels,help maintain a healthy body weight.
Many types of exercise can help with mobility, strength and cardiovascular fitness at the same time, including swimming or water exercise classes tai chi walking or Nordic walking (walking with Nordic poles) chair exercises low-impact aerobics strength training dancing. Start slowly to ease your joints into exercise if you haven’t been active for a while. If you push yourself too hard, you can overwork your muscles. This can worsen your joint pain.
Consider these tips as you get started:
Apply heat:Heat can relax your joints and muscles and relieve any pain you have before you begin. Heat treatments — warm towels, hot packs or a shower — should be warm, not painfully hot, and should be applied for about 20 minutes.
Move gently: Move your joints gently at first to warm up. You might begin with range-of-motion exercises for five to 10 minutes before you move on to strengthening or aerobic exercises.
Go slowly: Exercise with slow and easy movements. If you start noticing pain, take a break. Sharp pain and pain that is stronger than your usual joint pain might indicate something is wrong. Slow down if you notice inflammation or redness in your joints.
Ice afterward: Apply ice to your joints as needed after activity, especially after activity that causes any joint swelling.