Jan 10, 2017

Live Well: Live an Active Life with Arthritis

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Those who are diagnosed with arthritis might fear that their life will ending up drastically changing. We’re here to tell you that that is not the case. Although arthritis has mechanical effects on your body, it’s no reason to abandon an active lifestyle. In fact, maintaining regular exercise is key to relieving the pain and aches brought on by arthritis. There are plenty of activities that you can still participate in, which will help you live well and live actively, even with arthritis.

Dive into the deep end 

Swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises available, both for endurance and for protecting your joints. Wading or walking in water significantly decrease the painful impact on your joints. Swimming has the ability to put all your muscles to work, while also building cardiovascular endurance. Do you love walking? Try walking in waist-deep water! Are boot camps more your thing? Check out a water aerobics class at your local YMCA. By lessening the impact on your joints and muscles, you can do many of your favorite movements you love without pain.

Nama’stay active 

Roll out your mat, find your zen, and channel your inner yogi for a yoga classes! The various poses, focused on stretching and flexibility, performed during a yoga class have an incredibly positive effect on your body. Not only do you gain enormous strength from that tree pose, but you will also find that the stretches associated with yoga have the ability to eliminate some of those constant aches and pains.

Walk it out

It’s time to turn that Fitbit on active and get your steps in! Just because you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis does not mean that you have to skip out on those neighborhood walks that you love so much.  According to Arthritis.org, “a regular walking routine compresses and releases the cartilage in your knees, helping circulate synovial fluid that brings oxygen and nourishes your joints. When joints don’t get this nourishment, they deteriorate faster.” Step outside, start moving, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.  

Pump it up

Lifting weights can be tough on anyone, especially those who are living with arthritis. When developing a weight training routine, it’s important to know your body and adjust according to what you can handle. Start simple with a light set of dumbbells, and if your muscles don’t feel beat down after 10 reps then add more weight! Be sure to balance your weights to work all muscles. Lift slowly and smoothly, and watch those biceps come to life!

Less is more 

Exercising daily is important, but that does not necessarily mean you have to devote a whole hour to each workout. Shorter 15-30 minute sessions done each day for multiple days in a row have immense benefits. The key is to be consistent with your workouts. A short, 30-minute stroll through the neighborhood everyday will start adding up to major health benefits.

Get moving and live well with arthritis! Don’t let achy and stiff joints hold you back from living your best life possible. For more monthly tips on living well with arthritis in 2017, keep following Carolina Arthritis!