10 Ways to Make Exercising with Arthritis Safer
If you have arthritis, you are familiar with the constant cycle of joint pain and joint instability. You may experience limited movement at the affected joints, reduced endurance, and fatigue that comes and goes. A carefully designed exercise program can help you manage the pain of your condition, provided that you follow these tips:
- Avoid overly fatiguing your muscles, as this can increase joint pain. Mild strength exercises with either light tubing or against the resistance of warm water can help to build up the muscles and decrease stress on the joints. Make sure you do not hold your breath or strain during the exercise.
- Make sure to take your oral pain relievers about an hour before exercising.
- Do not perform any exercise that causes joint pain lasting longer than two hours after the exercise session.
- Place a pillow under your affected joints during times of relaxation at home. This will help to decrease your joint pain.
- Reducing your overall body weight can reduce strain on the joints, so a program that targets fat loss can be helpful.
- Avoid stretching too vigorously, as this can damage the supportive ligaments. Mild stretches are best.
- Avoid exercising when your joints are cold and stiff, and try not to keep the joints in the same position for too long. This can make it difficult to straighten them out fully without pain.
- Exercise only through range of motion where there is no pain or strain.
- Short and frequent exercise sessions are better than long, infrequent and intense ones. Vary your aerobics and resistance training on different days of the week.
- Always go at your own pace.