If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, you may think you shouldn’t exercise. Arthritis is one of the most common reasons people give for not exercising-especially if the disease affects the legs, hips or back. So to answer the question– Should I exercise if I have arthritis? The answer is an emphatic- Yes! Arthritic patients can and absolutely should exercise!
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. Regular exercise keeps arthritis in check and can help to overcome some of its worst symptoms. Exercise increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Younger people in particular, many of whom take the news of their arthritis with a heavy heart, should be aware of this and should do their best to keep moving to enjoy what can still be a very full and active life.
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, you should be aware of the fact though, that you may not be able to exert yourself quite as intensely as you used to. It is perfectly fine to play a sport or join a team, as long as there is a conscious effort to avoid over-exertion. (You shouldn’t keep pushing if you experience sharp pain– nor should a sport be played if they will be heavy impact to the joints on a regular basis.)
So what type of exercise it is okay to do? Ultimately this will depend on the type of arthritis and the specific symptoms that you have. What may be productive for a person with psoriatic arthritis, may be counterproductive for a person with osteoarthritis, etc …
Those who are diagnosed with arthritis at a younger age, in particular, are encouraged to do a bit of all three of the major types of exercise: stretching, muscle building (mild on this one), and cardio. Stretching will help maintain the maximum range of motion in a person’s joints; muscle building helps provide support for the joints; while cardio exercises help maintain overall fitness.
There is one form of exercise that is good for all arthritis patients, whether young or old and regardless of the type of arthritis they have. That type of exercise is warm water exercise. Warm water exercise or hydrotherapy is excellent for all age groups.
There are many key advantages to doing exercise in warm water. For starters, it is possible to do stretching, mild muscle building and cardio in the water. Also the waters resistance to movement makes every move more productive, and the warm water itself relaxes both muscles and joints and provides a lower-gravity environment that can be comforting. If you suffer from arthritis joint pain and have yet to try out hydrotherapy, then you should definitely reconsider as the results have proven to be overwhelmingly favorable in many cases.Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!