Physical activity has been shown to reduce pain and improve mood and quality of life for adults with arthritis. Physical activity is also beneficial for managing other chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, which are commonly found in adults with arthritis.
What type of physical activity is appropriate for arthritis patients?
People with arthritis can benefit from a variety of types of physical activities, including:
– Low-impact aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water exercise, gardening, group classes, and dancing.
– Exercises that strengthen muscles, such as calisthenics and weight training. Resistance bands can also be used. These exercises can be done at home, in an exercise class, or at a fitness center.
– Tai chi, walking backward, and standing on one leg are all good balance exercises. Many group exercise programs include balance exercises for those at risk of falling.
There are other important points to keep in mind about arthritis and physical activity:
– It is better to do some physical activity than none at all.
– People with arthritis can safely engage in low-impact, moderate physical activity.
– The activity should be done in addition to the usual daily activities.
– You can break up your daily activity into smaller amounts of time.
– Exercise is associated with greater health benefits.
– Physical activity has many benefits that far outweigh its risks.
People with arthritis require:
– Two hours and thirty minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity exercise per week OR
– Weekly aerobic exercise of 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) at a vigorous intensity OR
– An equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
People with arthritis also need:
– Exercises to strengthen muscles at least 2 days a week.
– If you are at risk of falling, balance exercises should be performed 3 times per week.
Aerobic exercise is any activity that makes your heart beat faster and makes you breathe harder than when you’re sitting, standing, or lying down. All major muscle groups should be worked on, including the legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms.
S.M.A.R.T. Tips for Physical Activity:
Start slow and low.
– It may take longer for people with arthritis to adjust their bodies to a higher level of activity. People who are inactive should begin with small amounts of activity, such as 3-5 minutes 2 times per day. It is safe to add activity slowly and give your body time to adjust before adding more.
When arthritis symptoms worsen, modify your activity and try to remain active.
– Arthritis symptoms are not constant. When symptoms worsen, most people stop all activity. You can modify your activity first by reducing the frequency, duration, or intensity, or by changing the activity type to stay as active as you can without making your symptoms even worse.
Actively explore safe areas and places.
– It is essential to maintain and start an activity program with safety in mind. An exercise class for arthritis sufferers or inactive adults may be an option. Finding safe places to exercise is crucial for those who plan their own activities. If you are walking through your neighborhood or a park, ensure that the pathways and sidewalks are free from obstructions, well-lit, and separated from heavy traffic.
Speak to a certified fitness specialist or a health professional.
– People with arthritis should have their exercise program monitored by a healthcare professional. Health professionals can provide information about the types of activities and the amount of exercise that are suitable for people with disabilities and chronic conditions.
A medical professional wrote this article at Florida Medical Pain Management. As the leading Florida pain center, we are proud to offer comprehensive pain management services to a diverse group of patients. Patients at Florida Medical Pain Management can get help managing hip, knee, leg, and neck pain. The practice also offers comprehensive arthritis management, along with treatments for auto accidents, sports, and work injuries.