By: Brit Ingersoll- Arthritis Foundation Development Director of North Dakota
Exercise is crucial if you have arthritis. But knowing just how much activity and what activity to do when you’re hurting can be tricky. (***Always consult your physician when starting a new exercise program.) Exercise is great for joint function, mood boost and overall health! How can you modify your favorite activities for days that are a little more of a struggle than others? What type of activities are beneficial for arthritis?
Everyone has days that are harder to get out of bed than others but living with Arthritis you really need to listen to your body. If you are in a middle of a flare or recovering from a joint surgery, do keep moving but modification is key. Here are a few tips:
• Start with a warm up. If a longer and slower warm up are needed, Do It!
• Pick Low Impact Machines at the Gym. Elliptical or recumbent bikes are great choices.
• Work out large muscle groups.
• When in doubt: Walk.
• Decrease your workout time. Slow it down and just keep moving.
• Ask a professional. Great time to pick a trainer to help you stay safe and moving.
When you are ready and wanting to find an activity, look for an activity with low impact on joints. Swimming, Yoga, Walking Groups, and Biking are my favorites! The great thing about all of these activities is they can be modified when you are having a tougher day or intensified for days when you are feeling awesome! Small aches and pains are normal; however, sharp onset of pain is not. If you feel sharp pain, STOP what you are doing and evaluate yourself.
Arthritis can hit at any age from a ten year old struggling to keep up with classmates in gym, a thirty year old mom struggling to dress herself and kids, to grandparents struggling to get up the stairs. You are not alone there are over 52 million Americans suffering with Arthritis. From Lupus, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis and many more! Know that the Arthritis Foundation family is always here to help you in your journey.
Keep moving and listen to your body it will thank you!