Arthritis is a chronic disease that can limit your ability to stay fit and live an independent life. Many with arthritis want to continue living a physically active life but get frustrated by joint stiffness, pain, and reduced range of motion.
At AABP Integrative Pain Care, we specialize in the ongoing management of many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Our pain management specialists take an integrative approach to easing your existing arthritis symptoms and offer resources that keep the disease from worsening.
In addition to a variety of nonsurgical medical treatments, our experts focus on lifestyle and diet changes that support your joint health. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine is an essential part of keeping your joints strong and flexible.
Daily exercise is just as important for maintaining your overall health as it is for managing arthritis.
When you move your body, your blood circulation improves. This can help reduce flare-ups of joint inflammation that’s common in many types of arthritis. Exercise also strengthens the muscles and other soft tissues that support your joint structure to prevent chronic pain.
Additionally, exercise stimulates an increase in fluids that lubricate the protective cartilage that lines the ends of your joints. The extra lubrication ensures your joints stay flexible, so you can maintain full range of motion in your joint.
Exercise also plays a role in your mental and emotional health. The pain and other challenges of arthritis can negatively affect your mood and contribute to depression and anxiety. Daily exercise is an ideal way to increase mental clarity and boost your overall emotional and mental wellness.
While you may not be able to jog for miles when you have arthritis, there are still many ways you can stay physically active without risking your joint health.
The goal is to start slowly and listen to your body when engaging in any physical activity. You can also ask our team for guidance about which exercises are a good fit for you based on your age, overall health, and the severity of your arthritis.
Here are five ways to exercise safely when managing arthritis:
When exercising on hard surfaces is too painful for your joints, consider heading to the nearest pool for a water aerobics class or to regularly swim laps.
Exercising in water is much gentler on your joints and still gives your muscles a good workout. Swimming and aerobic pool exercises are also great for your cardiovascular health.
Riding a bicycle is a great, low-impact way to exercise your knees, hips, and ankles. If you’re not able to ride outdoors, consider using the stationary bike at the gym for 30 minutes a few times a week.
Weight training targets specific muscles in your body to improve their strength. If you don’t have access to a weight training machine, you can use hand weights or resistance bands.
When you’re not sure where to start with weight training, consider working with an experienced trainer who can teach you how to protect your joint health.
Walking is a low-impact way to keep your body in good shape. Taking daily walks for as long as you feel comfortable can prevent joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Be sure to wear high-quality, supportive shoes when walking on hard surfaces to reduce unnecessary stress on your knees and other joints.
Movement practices like tai chi and yoga are a great way to increase flexibility, boost blood circulation, and ease existing arthritis pain.
Facilities that offer these practices may also provide arthritis-focused classes that go extra easy on your joints.
Call AABP Integrative Pain Care in Brooklyn, White Plains, or Garden City, New York, to schedule an arthritis consultation or book an appointment online today.