What are Some Good Exercises for Arthritis

Studies indicate that people diagnosed with arthritis benefit greatly from daily exercise. From joint pain and stiffness reduction to an increase in strength, ease of movement, endurance, and heart-healthiness, it pays to determine what are some good exercises for arthritis.

Exercises to help with arthritis relief include those that improve range-of-motion (ROM), strength and endurance, and cardiovascular health. Exercises should always be first approved by a physician or a physical therapist who specializes in exercises for arthritis pain relief.

Range-of-motion (ROM) exercises used in arthritis treatment add flexibility and should be done before any other kind of exercise. ROM exercises include:

  • pelvic tilts
  • hip lifts
  • finger curls
  • arm rotations
  • thumb rolls
  • wrist flexions and extensions

Building up surrounding muscle tissue with strength training provides another good way to combat arthritis-related joint pain. Strength training challenges and forces muscles to adapt to stress and can be done with or without the use of weights. Again, under the direction of a physician, these exercises not only directly help arthritic joints, but also help prevent further damage or injury to other parts of the body that may be put under too much duress as an effort to compensate for not performing without joint pain.

Water exercises using “noodles” and other resistance-type equipment, bicycling, and even simply lifting your legs into the air while sitting in a chair add strength and endurance to critical areas of the body and should be part of an arthritis treatment exercise program. Isotonic and isometric exercises (those that exercise muscles using the joint or not, respectively) should be performed at least every other day and only after warming up the muscles with ROM exercises.

Any exercise that involves the continuous, rhythmic motion of the large muscles of the body aids in cardiovascular health. This includes walking, biking, swimming, and more. By including these types of aerobic exercises as part of your arthritis relief plan, you also keep your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles in good shape.

Exercising as part of an arthritis pain relief regimen takes patience and perseverance. Start out slowly and increase gradually. Sometimes joining a group helps maintain motivation. Enlist the aid of your doctor and/or a physical therapist to steer you toward the right exercises for your particular arthritis treatment. And remember: Theres no time like the present to get started!

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