If you suffer from arthritis, you know well the stiff joints and pure pain of this often debilitating condition. You have also probably heard from your doctor and others the importance of getting regular exercise in order to keep your joints loose and limber, and to improve muscle strength and bone health.
But as many arthritis patients know, getting the right amount of exercise and doing the right kind of exercises is easier said than done. Fortunately, health professionals are becoming more sensitive to the particular challenges faced by arthritis sufferers. Here are few tips and exercises recommended specifically for arthritis patients.
First, a proper warm up routine is recommended for not just arthritis patients, but just about everyone. Don’t get started with that hike before getting a good warm up. To keep your body running smoothly, you must be willing to gently work out the kinks before getting started. A good warm up can consist of a stretching routine or just getting started very slowly.
Make sure to warm up for at least five minutes before starting the main part of your exercise or routine. This will give your joints and muscles enough time to stretch and prepare for the more active exercise to come.
One of the best and easiest forms of exercise that is recommended to arthritis patients is walking or easy hiking. Walking or hiking can help build up the density in your bones. Even the most reticent exercisers among us can benefit greatly from a walk outdoors. Walking outdoors can be quite relaxing, and the fresh air and sun can be beneficial for both our physical and psychological well being.
Try to find a quiet, safe area you can walk. Pair up with a walking or hiking buddy to keep you motivated, or take the dog for a walk. Another easy way to get a good boost of outdoor exercise is to take up gardening. Gardening and yard work not only helps to beautify your environment, but can help you get the right amount of exercise. Just make sure not to do anything that is too strenuous.
If walking or gardening is just not for you, consider finding a local gym or recreation center that offers some type of water exercise. Water exercises are both beneficial and can be the source of great fun. Pay a visit and ask for an introductory lesson if you are not sure if water exercise is for you. Even if you’ve never swum before in your life, you may just be surprised about how much fun you can have.
Most people focus on their exercise routine or activity, but there are other things to consider before getting started. Make sure you choose the right workout gear and clothing. Choosing the wrong shoes, for instance, can greatly exacerbate your arthritis, and can compromise your ability to move comfortably. This in turn may cause you to avoid exercise. When shopping for exercise shoes, look for shoes that provide flexibility and support. Many new shoes are now available specifically for arthritis sufferers.