There are many myths surrounding exercise and arthritis. Does exercising really benefit those with arthritis, or can it cause further damage to your joints?
Well, a recent study from Ohio State University revealed that physical exercise can result in physiological changes that decrease inflammation on a systemic and local level, which in turn alleviates the impact of arthritis.
The study shows very positive results and a spokesperson for Arthritis Research UK supports the case further, stating “We have known for some time that regular exercise is very important if you have arthritis, as it can reduce pain and keep you healthy and independent. This study suggests some of the science that could explain its benefits.”
If you have arthritis and would like to incorporate regular exercise into your lifestyle, here are a few simple tips you can follow:
New to exercise?
If exercise is new to you, speak to your doctor and remember a few of these key things:
– Be realistic with your goals
– Take it easy
– Do something you enjoy
How much and how often?
Generally, it is advisable to exercise little and often. If you have joint pain, you may have already been advised to do 5-10 minutes of exercise each day to keep your joints moving.
Arthritis UK state that we should all be aiming for 30 minutes of exercise, 5 times a week. The exercise should make us a little short of breath, but be careful not to overdo it. Listen to your body and if you feel like it’s getting too much, then stop. You should not feel exhausted or in great discomfort.
If you do ever feel as though you have overdone it, apply an ice pack wrapped in a damp towel for 10-15 minutes.
Exercise for any arthritic condition
– Short walks are a great way of getting some fresh air as well as some exercise. Slowly increase your distance and speed as you get fitter.
– Swimming is a great total body workout that doesn’t put much pressure on your joints.
Living with arthritis can be difficult and sometimes painful, but regular exercise can help to relieve the pain and may even improve your mood.
Do you have any tips related to arthritis and exercise?