Arthritis can make doing anything painful. While in pain, it is hard to imagine that exercise could help to reduce the pain, but in the long run, it will.
Exercise is one of the most important aspects to keeping yourself healthy. It is a way where you can take control of your health, and control how you will feel in the future. You can’t control 100% of your health, but any way that you can positively affect your health is important to take advantage of.
If you suffer from arthritis, it will hurt to move the affected joint. But if you don’t move it, the arthritis will progress. The pain in the affected joint will get worse and you will lose range of motion and use of that joint over time.
Nothing can reverse the effects of arthritis, but you can slow down the progression of the degeneration of the disease. So that 10 years from now you can feel how you are now, or even better. Rather than being much worse off and in more pain and have less use of the joint 10 years down the road.
If you are in pain and have arthritis, it can be hard to find a form of exercise you can do. But there is an exercise that will work for everyone.
If you have ankle, knee, or hip arthritis, walking is not the right cardio-vascular exercise for you. Riding a stationary bike would be much easier on your ankles, knees and hips. It will keep your knees going through their full range of motion which will maintain that range of motion. It is low impact and easy on your joints and therefore will not cause your arthritis to progress.
There are other low impact cardio-vascular exercises out there that can work for you. Water aerobics is a great exercise. Something like a rusty hinges class would be great. There is also the elliptical machine and stair master. Find something that you like doing and that doesn’t hurt too much.
Whatever you end up doing, make sure you can do it consistently. Consistency is the key to getting any benefit out of exercise. You have to be able to do it consistently, pretty much for the rest of your life. Consistency meaning a few times a week.
Another component of exercise to pay attention to is strength training. Strength training doesn’t have to be pumping heavy iron in a gym. It can be done in the form of ti chi, yoga or pilates. These systems will increase balance, strength and flexibility.
Flexibility is another key component of exercise. Just stretching out your muscles will provide relief. Every day your muscles tighten up, and if you have arthritis, the muscles will get tighter and even more irritated. Making it even more important to stretch on a regular basis.
Stretching is so important that I start out the Pain Free Lifestyle program with stretching and breathing. This allows you to prime your body to exercise. If you try to exercise a tight and irritated muscle you will only make it more tight and irritated.
Whether you have arthritis or not, exercise will benefit you. If you have arthritis it is important to do low impact exercises. Even if you don’t have arthritis I still feel it is important to perform low impact exercises because then you will preserve your joints, and years down the road you will feel better, have less arthritis, and therefore less pain. That is the Pain Free way.
Here is an article that talks about how to get into exercise if you have arthritis.