How to Exercise Safely if You Have Arthritis

Practicing some physical activity will help you improve mobility and reduce joint pain if you suffer from arthritis. Learn how to exercise safely so you don’t injure yourself.

Last update: December 29, 2021

Doing physical activity helps everyone, whether they suffer from any disease or not. For those with arthritic joint disorders, helps reduce pain and stiffness. So, learn how to exercise safely if you have arthritis.

Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints. It affects the musculoskeletal system, causing pain and swelling. The evolution causes bone erosion and destruction of the articular cartilage.

Exercise is among the indicated treatments to appease the symptoms of this disorder, according to the American College of Rheumatology. An adequate therapy aims to preserve and regain functional capacity. It will cause improvement in joint mobility, endurance and aerobic capacity.

Benefits of exercise for arthritis

Giving your body movement will strengthen the muscles around your joints, give you flexibility, and fill you with energy, resulting in well-being. This will improve your night’s rest..

Keeping muscles and surrounding tissue strong is vital to supporting bones. If you lead a sedentary life, the bone tissue will weaken further.

Exercise reduces joint pain, improves heart fitness, and contributes to weight loss.

How to Exercise Safely if You Have Arthritis

You don’t need to run marathons or be the best cyclist to improve your health. On the contrary, training should be done in moderation and according to your abilities. Start with easy range-of-motion and aerobic exercises that don’t require a lot of effort.

As each patient is different and the degree of disease varies, it is best to have the accompaniment of a specialist. The professional will advise you which exercises to do, which ones not and how far to go.

PThere may be movements that are contraindicated in people with a particular type of arthritis. Or also when the joints are very inflamed.

5 types of exercise you can do if you have arthritis

Although we have stated that the opinion of your doctor is important to exercise, there are very simple workouts you could do at home. You will only need will. Practice them according to your taste and abilities.

We show you how to exercise safely to improve your health if you have arthritis. You will see how you will regain mobility!

1. Range of motion exercises

This is the kind of exercise that help you flex your joints in different directions. You’ll move each joint around its full range of motion, reducing pain.

These are warm-up or stretching routines. In general, it begins with them to prepare the body.

The recommended ones are the following:

  • Head tilt forward and backward.
  • Side-to-side head inclinations.
  • Head turns.
  • Shoulder movement from top to bottom.
  • Shoulder movement from side to side.
  • Bend of elbows.
  • Flexions and rotation of the wrists.
  • Palm up and down.
  • Flexion and stretching of the fingers.
  • Touches of the palm of the hands.

Leg lifts, lateral movements of the lower limbs, knee rotation, ankle flexion and rotation, and hip movements also fall within this point. You can practice them daily or every 2 days.

Stretching plays an important role in ensuring flexibility in the context of arthritis.

2. Strengthening exercise

Strong muscles help protect the joints affected by arthritis. For this, nothing better than weight training.

But how much weight can you lift? The one that your body can hold. Start small, 1 or 2 pounds, and work your way up.

Don’t push yourself too hard. Do them once a day or every 2 days, with periods of rest, unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joints.

3. Aerobic or endurance

The aerobic form is indicated to raise your heart rate, keep your lungs in condition and maximize the amount of oxygen in the blood. There is a variety that you will like to practice, depending on your physical condition.

The training par excellence is walking, It puts little stress on the joints. Riding a bike strengthens your leg muscles and improves balance. Swimming exercises the whole body, but does not subject your joints to shocks.

Do these exercises every day for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 times a week or as often as your doctor tells you.

4. Isometric exercise

Isometric exercise helps maintain and increase strength through contraction of muscles. It is done in one position, without movement, and involves muscle tension. They are very easy because you do them with your own weight.

Among the exercises that you can practice at home are the following:

  • Regular plank, horizontal plank with forearm support, contralateral plank, side plank.
  • Hip lift.
  • Static abs.

5. Flexibility exercise

Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are among the workouts that focus on work the flexibility and plasticity of the body, with movements that prevent your muscles from shortening. These disciplines can be great allies because they combine deep breathing with meditation.

Yoga is one of the most recommended disciplines for arthritis, since its postures contribute to flexibility.

Watch your weight if you suffer from arthritis

Excess weight affects the arthritis patient. The extra kilograms put extra pressure on the joints, increasing inflammation.

In fact, this represents one of the risk factors for developing the pathology. People with obesity are more likely to experience progressive joint damage.

Maintain an adequate weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising. Adopting a routine helps you develop healthy habits.

Now that you know how to exercise safely if you have arthritis, start planning. Although there is no cure for arthritis, it can be considerably improved by taking the appropriate recommendations.

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