So, you need an excuse not to work out, take a walk, or otherwise stay physically active. It’s easy to shrug your shoulders and say, “I can’t. I have arthritis.” But the truth is, staying active is one of the best things you can do to help you deal with your arthritis pain and to help you live better in general.
Drs. Brian Snow, Charles Toulson, Duncan McKellar Jr., and Jon Thompson, as well as the rest of us at Alpha Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, want to make sure we are doing everything we can to manage your arthritis pain. One of the best things we can do is to remind you that physical exercise is good for you.
Why is staying active so important for those with arthritis?
It might feel like exercising is the last thing you want to do when you have arthritis, but it’s actually one of the best things for you. Making sure to stay active can actually help minimize the effects of arthritis, such as joint pain and stiffness. As long as you are regularly active in tandem with your other treatments, it can do a number of other things for you, such as
- Enhance your balance ability
- Improve your energy
- Strengthen both your muscles and bones
- Control your weight
- Regulate your sleeping patterns
In truth, exercising can help you avoid a number of the notorious problems associated with arthritis and simply provide you with better quality of life.
What kinds of exercise should I be doing?
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should throw yourself into an exercise regimen that is too difficult or too much for you, especially with your arthritis. When you’re trying to choose the right routine, use the SMART tips outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Start slow.
- Modify the activity if your symptoms start to kick in, but keep yourself active.
- Ask yourself which activities don’t require twisting or pounding on the joints.
- Recognize the best and safest ways to stay active.
- Talk to your doctor about staying active and which activities are the most effective.
If you’re looking for a clearer picture, basically any kind of exercise you can do that doesn’t cause unnecessary stress on your joints is ideal. These can include
- Water aerobics
- Walking briskly
- Lifting weights
- Tai chi
Remember, you should still consider which exercises are safe and effective for you. For example, if you have a risk of falling, balancing exercises like those in Tai Chi or yoga may not be the best choice. If you have a pool at your house or apartment complex, swimming or water aerobics could be a great option. It all depends on what works for you.
How much exercise should I do?
For maximum health benefits, like those listed above, you should be doing at least 150 minutes of light aerobic exercise and 75 higher-intensity aerobic exercise every week. This could mean that you may choose an activity like cycling at a leisurely pace for 30 minutes and at a faster pace for 15 minutes five days out of the week.
Can I really exercise with arthritis?
Yes, and what’s more, you should. It’s always important to stay away from intense exercises that leave you feeling pained or wiped out at the end, but starting slow and finding your rhythm in an exercise you enjoy is a great way to keep the effects of arthritis at bay and to avoid further issues that are sometimes linked with this condition.
Would you like to make an appointment?
We are happy to see you at any one of our four locations, two of which are in McKinney, one of which is in Prosper, and the last of which is in Sherman, Texas. You may call, or request an appointment online at your leisure. All of our doctors would be pleased to help you find an exercise regimen that works for you, so you can stay healthy and happy, even with arthritis.