Arthritis exercises typically have a few different goals: reduce pain, increase flexibility of joints and muscles, and improve mental health. Additionally, these exercises should also assist patients with weight management -- since being overweight could intensify symptoms of arthritis.
Studies have shown that nearly 25% of individuals with arthritis report being physically inactive. Not only is that bad for those with arthritis, but it's also an issue for patients without the disease. Exercising regularly can lower the risk of diabetes and improve heart health. It also brings provides a positive emotional boost, which can relieve painful conditions.
Before exercising, however, a patient should always consult with their physician for appropriate workouts. Some doctors may recommend different exercises for different patients.
For instance, some physicians may suggest a patient try swimming, an exercise that combats arthritis symptoms, according to The Arthritis Foundation. The organization notes that even patients who can't swim can still partake in water walking. These classes are also designed for those patients who are also new to exercise.
There's always warm water therapy. To alleviate pain, patients perform exercises in a warm water pool.
For those with simple arthritis, patients can perform other movements: raising arms above the head and rolling shoulders backward and forward (this can be done to improve the range of motion in joints and muscles).
Weight training is another option to strengthen muscles. Aerobic exercises include walking and bike riding (any activity that keeps the heart pumping blood throughout the body).
If a patient is unwilling to commit to exercising, try encouraging them to find a friend to exercise with.
Pain reduction, increased flexibility of muscles and joints, and improvement of mental health are the results of regular arthritis exercises. Exercise also offers weight management, and being overweight can intensify arthritis symptoms. Regular physical activity improves heart health and lowers the risk of such conditions as diabetes.