WASHINGTON, DC — According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 54 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis. Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. While exercise can help ease the pain, it is crucial to understand which types of exercise are best.
Here are a few tips for exercising with arthritis:
- •Do not skip stretching, warm-ups and cool-downs. Especially for folks with arthritis, stretching can help get the joints ready for a workout and can help maintain range-of-motion. Warm-ups and cool-downs are important because they help increase/decrease blood flow and loosen the muscles.
- •Start lightly with strength training. Begin strength training, exercises with light-weights and slow movements.
- •High-intensity exercise may be right for some, but not all. Talk with your doctor about what exercises you’d like to try. Think about the location of affected joints and how the exercise might impact them. If you do pursue high-intensity exercise, start slowly and listen to your joints.
- •Stay hydrated. Dehydration deprives your body of the extra water it needs to cool off and keep blood circulating while working out. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after exercising. It’s a good idea to get another six to eight ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise during activity.
The Arthritis Foundation offers a tool (https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/tools-resources/your-exercise-solution/) that allows people with arthritis pain to identify which activities may be right for them. Consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine that could affect your arthritis.