More than 50 million U.S. adults have arthritis. Many people experience severe joint pain and, likely because of their pain, don’t do much exercising if at all.
But research shows that while joint pain is often managed with medication, regular physical activity can also be effective in reducing arthritis pain.
On the other hand, severe joint pain and physical inactivity are linked to poor mental and physical health outcomes.
According to Randy Siy, the outpatient program coordinator at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, several types of exercises can protect people from arthritis.
These low-impact exercises are appropriate for all fitness levels for adults with arthritis.
Aerobic exercises can help improve your overall fitness, including your cardiovascular health, weight management, and stamina and energy.
Walking, cycling and swimming are great forms of cardiovascular exercise that are promoted by several physical activity programs geared toward reducing arthritis pain.
It is recommended that you work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week.
Weight training and resistance exercises can help strengthen muscles that support and protect your joints.
If you have arthritis (and especially severe joint pain), you should avoid exercising the same muscle groups two days in a row.
For a strength-training program, it is recommended that you do related exercises three times a week, though two days a week is all you need to maintain your strength.
For people with knee arthritis, increasing quadriceps strength is important. Exercises such as mini-squats and sit-to-stand from a chair can be beneficial.
These exercises (which might include movements such as marching, finger and wrist flexion/extension, and leg kicks) relieve stiffness and increase your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion.
Generally, these exercises can be done daily.