Exercise and Arthritis, Part 1

June 26th, 2012 · No Comments ·

If you experience arthritis pain, you certainly understands its limiting effects on the body. Some of the symptoms that may result from arthritis include:
Joint pain, stiffness
Cartilage destruction
Muscle stiffness in the morning
Acute and chronic inflammation
Chronic pain

As debilitating as these symptoms may be, exercise has been shown to help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with this disease. But before beginning any exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor first.

Exercise Benefits
The benefits of exercise cannot be overlooked when it comes to arthritis. Adding exercise to your life can increase energy levels, lessen joint swelling and pain, minimize depression and anxiety, increase flexibility, decrease the loss of muscle and accompanying weakness, increase pain threshold, lessen fatigue and increase energy. By making these changes, your daily life will improve remarkably.

Starting an Exercise Program
After experiencing pain for many years, an individual with arthritis is likely to be apprehensive about beginning an exercise program. However, the potential benefits far outweigh any apprehension as long as two key points are followed.

After speaking with you doctor, make sure to start out slowly with small amounts of activity and low levels of resistance. Next, try several activities to find one that is enjoyable and comfortable for you to perform. Working with an exercise professional can be helpful when designing a workout routine.

Whatever activity you choose, be sure not to aggravate your current health condition by pushing yourself too far or doing too much too fast. Begin with one or two days per week for 15 to 20 minutes and then gradually increase your time. If an activity causes pain, stop immediately.

Exercise Guidelines
In a 1996 study by Tonenn Toubenoff, a Tufts University rheumatologist, it was found that people with severe rheumatoid arthritis could safely increase their strength by roughly 60 percent in 12 weeks with a modest weight-training program. “At the end nearly all [of the subjects] said they felt less pain, and were able to walk farther and move more freely,” he said.

Tags: Fitness