The last thing you may feel like doing is trying to exercise when your joints hurt. Those who do exercise regularly, however, reap great benefits to managing this common form of arthritis.
If you have osteoarthritis, check with your orthopaedic specialist first to make sure it’s safe for you to exercise. Your doctor can tell if you have osteoarthritis with a physical examination and X-rays.
Here are seven ways regular exercise helps people with osteoarthritis:
- Exercise helps you maintain healthy and strong muscles.
- Exercise preserves the mobility in your joints so you can keep moving.
- Regular exercise maintains your range of motion.
- It helps you sleep better at night.
- Exercise can reduce the pain you experience from osteoarthritis.
- Exercise helps you keep a positive attitude. Many people feel in a better mood after taking a walk or working out.
- Keeping a healthy body weight through exercise can improve your symptoms. Losing excess weight takes pressure off your joints.
If you’re wondering what type of exercise is right for you, ask your orthopaedic specialist. In general, there are three types of exercise that are best for people osteoarthritis.
Flexibility exercises can help the stiffness you feel. Try a yoga or Tai Chi class if your doctor says it’s OK. Flexibility exercises keep your joints moving.
Strengthening exercises can boost metabolism, improve bone health and help you stay strong. Weight-bearing exercises include walking, jumping rope and lifting weights.
Endurance exercises may help alleviate the swelling in your joints. They also improve your heart health. Low-impact endurance exercises include swimming and biking.
Remember, when your joints are swollen or inflamed, you may need to avoid certain activities. Try different types of exercise to give that part of your body a break.
Source: National Institute on Aging
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