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How Exercise Helps Relieve Arthritis Pain

If you have arthritis, you may wince at the notion of exercising. After all, your joints are already stiff and sore; how can you imagine adding exercise to the mix? But, it turns out that there are many reasons you should exercise, even with arthritis.

Exercise has a wide variety of health benefits for your body. Even more, you’ll likely discover that regular exercise can help relieve arthritis pain, too. In this blog, the doctors at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine explain more about the benefits of exercise and how it can help relieve arthritis pain.

Why you need to exercise

Whether you have arthritis or not, exercise has benefits for everyone. Regular exercise can decrease your risk of developing many ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. If you already have one of these conditions, exercise may be even more important in helping manage it.

Exercise also has a long list of benefits for men and women who have arthritis. Those benefits include the following:

In fact, exercise is so beneficial for arthritis that not doing it may actually make your joint swelling and stiffness worse.

The right kinds of exercise

It’s important to know that you don’t have to be an Olympic-level athlete to see the benefits of exercise. If you’re just starting out, you should start slow and gradually build up the intensity as you get stronger.

When developing an exercise routine, you should combine strength training and aerobics. Regarding aerobic exercises, you don’t have to do anything too strenuous. Some of the best aerobic exercises include fast walking, swimming, using low-impact exercise machines ― such as an elliptical ― and riding a bicycle. Regarding strength training, you can try using resistance bands, lifting light dumbbells, and doing body-weight exercises.

All of these activities will avoid putting too much stress on your joints. A physical therapist or doctor can also help you develop an exercise plan that takes your arthritis into account.

Know how to exercise safely

Exercising if you have arthritis is beneficial, but it can be possible to overdo it. To avoid worsening your arthritis, ease off if you experience more swelling or redness in your joints or if the pain lasts for more than two hours after exercise.

Some soreness is normal after exercise, especially when you’re just getting started. To minimize the pain, considering exercising in water, which can have a natural cushioning effect on your joints. Consider other forms of exercise as well, such as walking your dog or doing stretches. The most important thing is to start moving and keep moving.

Other things to remember are that it’s always important to warm up your joints before doing any type of exercise, and use hot or cold packs on any sore joints afterward.

If you’re thinking about taking up exercise to reduce your arthritis symptoms, now is a great time to start. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine today.

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