Friday, February 22, 2008

Arthritis and Exercise

Exercise is a very important treatment. While arthritis causes stiffness and painful joints, exercising relieves the stiffness and lessens the pain. If you adhere to a regular routine you will be able to fight off many illnesses and decrease stiffness and arthritic pain. The most important exercises to follow are:
  • Range of motion: to help maintain/increase flexibility and relieve stiffness
  • Weights: to strengthen muscles around the joints
  • Endurance: cardio exercises help with overall body health including weight management.

Begin your exercise program slowly and keep working up to the goal of not injuring yourself or aggravating your joints. Remember to discuss your program with your physician and if possible under supervision of a physical therapist. Once your body has become accustomed to regular exercises you can add recreational exercises (biking/swimming) and aerobic exercises.
Enjoy your exercises and choose them well. People who have fun are more likely to keep a regular routine and get the best from exercising.

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