When you have arthritis, you need to exercise, but it can often be difficult to do when you are in pain or your joints feel stiff. Here are some tips for exercising and recommended types of workouts that can be helpful with this condition.
Try Conditioning Exercises
With arthritis, you need to keep your body moving to avoid having severe pain, but you also need to be careful with the types of exercises you do. It is best not to do anything that requires over-using the joints that are causing you the most pain. Conditioning exercises get your body moving, blood pumping, and strengthen your muscles. They can also help to improve the health of your joints, but still remain gentle exercises. You may need to adjust some of the movements when doing Pilates or Yoga depending on the joints that hurt, for overall, they are an excellent option.
Walk, Don’t Run
Walking is a really good exercise if you have arthritis, but jogging and running usually isn’t. If you are already a runner, you may find that it doesn’t worsen your arthritis, but once it does, you need to stop immediately. Running can be really hard on your joints, particularly in your legs and hips, so if that is where most of your pain is, you should stick to slower walking. Only increase the speed and intensity as it feels most comfortable for you.
You can also go swimming, which is extremely easy on all of your joints. In fact, many doctors will suggest swimming before other exercises if you have the ability to do so. If you don’t have a swimming pool at home, consider signing up for a local fitness center that has a swimming pool. Many of them do and will offer flexible hours for you to go swimming. Take a swimming class that is for seniors, since those are usually gentle enough for people with arthritis.
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Stretch and Warm Up First
A very common mistake made by people who have arthritis is going right into the exercise without stretching or warming up first. Your muscles need time to stretch and get working, so take your time warming up. Similar to warming up, you also need to remember to cool them down at the end of the workout.
Make sure you always talk to your doctor before starting any new workout program.