Tips for Exercising with Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful condition, but the correct exercises can help revitalize you and improve your overall health. On the other hand, rigorous high impact exercises can worsen the pain and potentially damage your joints. Always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program to ensure that it’s right for you. Choosing the most beneficial exercises will depend on a number of factors. For instance, which joints are affected, the kind of activities you enjoy, as well as the weather and your access to different exercise facilities.

It is always good to identify the best time to exercise. Ideally you want to choose a time that will not be canceled, when you are feeling your best and when you have the energy and motivation to carry out your exercises. Many people prefer exercising in the morning so that they can reap the physical and psychological benefits all day long.

Select a place where you will be conducting your exercises. You don’t have to exercise in the same place all the time but if you have one location in your home or otherwise make sure it is comfortable and inviting. The outdoors is an excellent place to exercise, but Michigan residents may have to adapt their routine to the weather conditions. Before you begin exercising, start by stretching your hips, knees, and ankles as a warm up exercise, which will help to prepare your muscles for the activity. Stretching after conducting arthritis exercises can help to prevent stiffness. Use special care to stretch areas that are particularly stiff do to arthritis.

Slow movements are ideal for people with arthritis. Slow motions help one to focus mentally and improve breathing. In fact, slow movements are known to improve the patient’s balance and strength. Make sure the exercises you conduct do not place excessive impact on the affected joints. Low impact exercises include walking, water exercises, and cycling stationary bicycles. Walking is an ideal form of exercise for many Michigan arthritis suffers. Swimming also releases the stress on the joints making it an excellent form of exercise. High impact exercises like jogging, basketball and soccer are only recommended for people who do not have issues with the hips, ankles, and knees. Please check with your doctor before pursuing any of these high impact activities.

Another great form of arthritis exercises involves strengthening the muscles by performing resistance exercises. Strengthening exercises can be done using machines, elastic bands, and free weights. Studies have shown that arthritis sufferers that participate in weight training three times a week for twenty minutes show significant reductions in fat, increased muscle tone, reduced pain and overall improved health. Speak with your doctor about integrating high intensity, low impact workouts into your weekly exercise regimen.

As you consider the right form of exercise for your condition, make sure you keep yourself within the limits of the duration and intensity of the exercises you perform. Always wear clothes and shoes you are comfortable. When you are exercising, do it at a steady pace and avoid rushing, especially with weight training as this could lead to injury. Always give your muscles some time to relax between repetitions. Make sure you breathe well while exercising. You can do this by counting out loud. If you have swollen or painful joints move them very gently to avoid more injury.

Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics of Michigan is dedicated to helping Michigan arthritis suffers live active healthy lifestyles. If you have questions about cutting edge arthritis orthotic treatments please call or visit us at one of our 20 Michigan locations.

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