Friday, February 22, 2008

Exercise: Best Arthritis Treatment

As unusual as it sounds, exercise is one of the best treatments for arthritis. If you have stiff and painful joints and you do not have a regular exercise regimen, now is the time to start working out. People who follow a regular exercise routine are better able to decrease the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis.

The best types of exercises for arthritis:
•Range of motion exercises help maintain or increase flexibility. This in turn relieves stiffness.
•Strengthening exercises build the muscles around the joints and takespressure off the joints.
•Endurance exercises help maintain overall body health. Endurance exercises also help with weight management and increase cardiovascular fitness.

The goal of exercise is to relieve stiffness without aggravating the joints or worsen symptoms. With that in mind, start slowly when starting an exercise program. You can build up in time and intensity as you gain strength. Always, always listen to your body. Your body will let you know loud and clear if you are doing too much too soon.

Remember to warm up and stretch your body with range of motion exercises before exercising and do the same when you are cooling down. But above all, remember to have fun. If you select exercise activities that you enjoy, you are more likely to keep your routine.

No exercise article would be complete without the "talk to your doctor before starting" disclaimer. In additional to that, seriously consider working under the supervision of a physical therapist or trainer in the beginning. These exercise experts will teach you how to get the best out of your exercise program while also being kind to your body. Your local YMCA or health club should have a trainer on staff.

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