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Good exercises for arthritis

Arthritis itself can bring many challenges. For the active ones, arthritis can really set us back 

Firstly, the exercise we must do is to remember the importance of exercising while living with arthritis. It is proven that exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness as it strengthens the muscles around your joints. Once the muscles around your joints are strengthened, it will put less pressure on your joints.


Many believe that exercise will aggravate their joint pain and stiffness, but that's not the case. People believe this because they may feel discomfort or soreness at the beginning of the exercise. However, lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff in the long run. That is because keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.


A great way to think about this is that we are all born with an rubber between our joints. Throughout our life, we use our rubber and without muscles protecting and supporting it, the eraser will rub out faster than normal.

Stretches + Yoga

These exercises relieve stiffness and increase your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion. These exercises can be as simple as stretching movements such as raising your arms over your head or rolling your shoulders forward and backward. I recommend that these exercises be done daily.

Body awareness exercises, such as gentle forms of yoga or tai chi, can help you improve balance, prevent falls, improve posture and coordination, and promote relaxation


Other exercises

Any movement, no matter how small, can help. Daily activities such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves and walking the dog counts as an exercise. Any form of exercise is better than no exercise!


BODY WEIGHT / WEIGH TRAINING

These exercises help you build strong muscles that help support and protect your joints. Weight training is an example of a strengthening exercise that can help you maintain or increase your muscle strength. Make sure to avoid using heavy weights and over working the muscle groups. Also remember to rest a day or two between your workouts. Take extra rests if your joints and muscles are extra sore.
When starting a strength-training program, a three-day-a-week program can help you jump-start your improvement, but two days a week is all you need to maintain your muscle strength.

Note: Please do not over train yourself as this can lead to injuries and can do more harm than good for your joints and muscles.


Tips when excercising

Start slowly to ease your joints into exercise if you haven't been active for a while. If you push yourself too hard, you can overwork your muscles and worsen your joint pain.

Tip 1
Keep the impact low. Low impact exercises like stationary or recumbent bicycles, elliptical trainers, or exercise in the water help keep joint stress low while you move.

Tip 2
Apply heat. Heat can relax your joints and muscles and relieve any pain you have before you begin. Heat treatments — warm towels, hot packs, showers or our Natural Relief Cream can be used prior to your exercise to help you relax your joints. It should be applied for about 20 minutes prior to your exercise.

Tip 3
Move gently and avoid any jerking motions. Move your joints gently at first to warm up. You might begin with stretches for five to 10 minutes before you move on to strengthening or aerobic exercises.

Tip 4
Slow and steady win the race - Go slowly. Exercise with slow and easy movements. If you feel pain, take a break. Sharp pain and pain that is stronger than your usual joint pain might indicate something is wrong. Slow down if you notice swelling or redness in your joints.

Tip 5
Ice afterward. Apply ice to your joints for up to 20 minutes as needed after activity, especially after activity that causes joint swelling.


Concluding remarks

I hope that these tips will help you get back into improving your quality of life. Please make sure to consult with your doctor about exercise programs in your area for people with arthritis. Some hospitals, clinics and health clubs offer special programs.

Written by: Ron Park

Founder & CEO of Kōrure

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