Exercise To Relieve Arthritis Symptoms

Exercise To Relieve Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis Is A Major Reason For Lack Of Exercise & What To Do About It!

It’s no surprise that people with arthritis don’t exercise as much as they should. New information in a study from the Communicable Diseases Center in Atlanta show that persons who have arthritis are more likely to be physically inactive than those who don’t have arthritis. This is a shame because exercise is a key ingredient for the total management of arthritis. A large portion (25% to 47%) of inactive adults in every state are adults with arthritis, the study found. In a typical state, about one-third of the inactive adults reported having arthritis.

Also, in a more surprising revelation, the number of adults who perform no leisure-time physical activity is 25% to 84% higher in those who have arthritis compared with those who don’t.While it is true that people with arthritis have barriers to being physically active, such as fear of increasing pain or worsening their symptoms, these worries are usually unfounded. Another worry is lack of equipment. Exercise doesn’t always require fancy machines. There are many exercise regimens that people with arthritis can manage. And exercise definitely is indicated to help reduce the impact of arthritis on a person’s activities of daily living. Also, in patients with other co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and such, exercise can help with those diseases as well.  Some pointers for people with arthritis to consider when starting an exercise program:

Discuss the issue with your rheumatologist. Advice regarding low impact types of exercise can be rewarding. Activities such as swimming, walking, cycling, an elliptical trainer, cross country skiing, and so on can be a good start. The goal should be to engage in exercise a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days a week. Start slowly and build up to that amount. Avoid the temptation to just jump into an exercise routine and push too hard. Always warm up and cool down and stretch before and after exercising. All exercise programs should incorporate cardio, resistance (weight-training), and stretching. Think of exercise as being a three-legged stool. By mixing it up, exercise can be enjoyable and not become a dull chore. Consider non-conventional activities such as yoga, a great way to stretch. Some people find t’ai chi also to be a good way to stretch.

Once you make exercise a habit- just like brushing your teeth- then it becomes much more easy to adhere to.

Another hint: exercise with a buddy. That will help with motivation.


About The Author
Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR is a rheumatologist and Director of the Arthritis Treatment Center. He is a former Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and consultant to the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Wei is an acknowledged national expert in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and is the author of more than 500 publications. Dr. Wei is considered an authority and expert in stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) procedures. He is active in clinical research and is the Director of the Arthritis Treatment Center, located in Frederick, Maryland.
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