6 Steps to Getting Active With Arthritis
Exercising with arthritis
While it may not be obvious, weight loss and exercise can help people with arthritis.
The more your body weighs, the more wear and tear on your joints. Exercise can help you lose weight, but it can also help in other ways.
Stretching and strengthening exercises—if done carefully—can improve joint mobility and lower pain intensity.
Here's how to get started.
Talk to your doctor first
Ask about exercise time and weight limits, motivational support, and the appropriate after-exercise pain treatment.
Think big, start small
So you should plan to address three exercise goals and types: flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health.
Join a group
Arthritis, like any chronic pain condition, can be an isolating disease, so finding support will not only help you achieve your fitness goals, but it will also help you tackle this disease.
Ask arthritis clinics, community centers, physical therapy clinics, and gyms to recommend group programs.
Although the scientific evidence of arthritis-specific benefits is limited (few studies have been done), the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center still recommends yoga to its patients.
Take to the water
Check with your local community center, YMCA, or a nearby pool for arthritis-focused facilities and sessions.
Follow it with a postexercise ice-pack cooldown.
Go easy: Neither the heat nor the cold should be painful.