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Exercise and Arthritis: Low-Impact Exercises for Joint Health

May 20, 2024

Everyone needs exercise, but it can be especially important for people living with arthritis. Regular exercise and movement is necessary for managing symptoms - increasing flexibility and strength, as well as promoting weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. 

A lack of physical activity increases joint inflammation, due to weakening muscles that support the joints, creating stress and stiffness. However, overdoing a workout or participating in high-impact exercise can also risk damage to your joints and pain. 

It is important to listen to your body and choose low-impact exercises that work for you and are easy to maintain in your schedule. In this blog we will share a few of our suggestions to help alleviate joint pain and keep you living in motion. 

Walking 

Convenient and easy to work into your schedule, even a short walk a day can benefit your arthritis symptoms and reduce joint pain. Regular walking can also help you lose weight, which reduces the strain and pressure on joints. 

Biking

An excellent cardio and strength workout, biking limits the impact placed on joints that a higher-impact exercise like jogging would do while giving you all the benefits. Plus any excuse to be outside and in nature is great for your physical and mental health!  

Swimming/Water Aerobics 

 

Water provides a natural resistance on your body, aiding in muscle building, while its buoyancy eliminates the pressure on your joints. Lap swimming and aerobics are great ways to remain active with arthritis, and many gym facility memberships provide access to a pool! 

Strength Training 

The use of resistance bands, free weights, and weight machines strengthens the muscles around your joints which leads to reduced joint pain. Make sure your lifting program targets different large muscle groups and start slowly, gradually increasing your intensity in order to reduce the risk of injury. 

Yoga

 

A symptom of arthritis can be impaired coordination. The practice of yoga improves balance, flexibility, and body awareness. Regular practice can help with joint functionality. Additionally if you are unable to hold a certain pose, it is easily modified through different movements or chair yoga. 

Incorporating movement and exercise when you have arthritis is important, however it is even more important to make sure your actions are safe. Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercises or adding a workout program into your routine to ensure you are not taking on any movements that are too high-impact or will do damage to joints. 

Living with arthritis should not keep you from living in motion! We hope we have given you a few ideas to add into your routine, keeping you moving and healthy.