Jan 10, 2017

Live Well: Live an Active Life with Arthritis

Those who are diagnosed with arthritis might fear that their life will end 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. You can still participate in plenty of activities, 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 decreases the painful impact on your joints. Swimming can 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 activities you love without pain.

Nama’stay active. 

Roll out your mat, find your zen, and channel your inner yogi for some 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 can 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. Some other tips to keep you invested in your walking routine include:

[Want more walking tips? Click here!]

Pump it up.

Lifting weights can be tough on anyone, especially those living with arthritis. When developing a weight training routine, it’s essential 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 ten 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!

According to Harvard.edu, “if you have arthritis, balance rest and exercise carefully. You should avoid doing strength training when experiencing flare-ups, at least until the inflammation eases.”

Less is more. 

Exercising daily is crucial, 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 every day 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, keep following Carolina Arthritis!