That said, you need to make sure the type of exercise you choose to do doesn’t make your symptoms worse. You may have been a marathon runner at one point in your life, but with arthritis, you need to be careful. You want to avoid any kind of activity where you pound on your joints or do a lot of twisting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Any easy way to remember safety guidelines is to think of these SMART tips from the CDC:
- Start with a low intensity and go slowly.
- Modify your exercise when your arthritis symptoms increase. Try to stay active.
- Activities should be “joint friendly.”
- Recognize safe places and ways to be active.
- Talk to a health professional or certified exercise specialist.
With so many people living today with arthritis, it’s not hard to find group exercise classes that are joint friendly. Walking, biking and swimming are also examples of things you can do to stay in shape without aggravating your arthritis. Light aerobics, dancing and gardening are other activities that can get your blood pumping.
Everyone should warm up before they start exercising but it’s especially important if you have arthritis. It can take longer to adjust to a new level of activity.
For the best health benefits, try to exercise 150 minutes every week at a moderate intensity. Additionally, you should perform strength-training exercises for your entire body twice a week. If you’re uncertain how to use weights, consult an athletic trainer who can teach you proper form.
If it seems like a lot of time to spend exercising, start slowly and build up the amount of time you work out. You can also exercise for shorter periods of time throughout the week. For example, instead of trying to walk 50 minutes three times a week, walk 15 minutes twice a day, five days a week.
Remember, by taking care of yourself, you can improve your health and prevent disease.
+ Learn more about treatment options for arthritis from the orthopaedic specialists at Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists.