Arthritis and exercising
Exercising is a physical activity which is highly recommended for all people due to its numerous positive effects on the health in general. However, besides the fact that healthy people can benefit from exercising, people with various health problems can benefit from exercising as well. Surely, exercising program is adjusted to their condition and age because not everyone can do all exercises, which is why it is recommended to look for professional advice and guidance.
As for arthritis, the fact is that the greatest benefits of exercising refer to its ability to reduce pain and stiffness, which those who suffer from this degenerative disease feel in the joints that are affected. Aside from this, exercising makes the muscles and bones stronger, which is also beneficial for people diagnosed with arthritis because bones become thinner very often in such cases, particularly if one is using steroids. This all influences functional ability of the joints, which will otherwise be impaired with time, and the person’s range of motion will be more and more limited.
Surely, people with rheumatoid arthritis should exercise, but it does not mean that they should start with exercising on their own and choose the exercises randomly or as they like it. Physical therapist can recommend those that are suitable for patients with arthritis and those that are usually included are stretching exercises, strength exercises and conditioning exercises. The purpose of stretching is to improve flexibility and these exercises are definitely the easiest to perform.
Strength exercises can also include weights, although they do not have to, and their purpose is to make the muscles strong and make the person capable of performing more activities without experiencing pain. As for conditioning exercises, their main purpose is to improve the cardiovascular system, but they also improve one’s mood and have several other benefits. Those that are recommended to the patients with arthritis are usually swimming and bicycling, although even plain walking is considered to be beneficial.
As it has already been stated, people who suffer from the condition in question should be careful when it comes to exercising, because certain activities can do more harm than good and they can have quite the opposite effect. Lifting of heavy weights is one of such activities, although on the other side, light weights can be lifted. Jogging should be avoided because the joints are exposed to a lot of stress during this activity.