Living with arthritis, pain and stiffness from inflammation of the joints, can be uncomfortable and disruptive of everyday life. There are several ways to help soothe the symptoms, one of which that can be most effective is regular exercise.
Extensive exercise is not necessary. However, a lack of it can create more stress on the joints because the muscles become weakened. Therefore, maintaining strength and flexibility can help reduce joint pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There are a variety of exercises for arthritis that can be tailored to each individual. Perform them at the pace that is most comfortable and try to avoid working the same muscle groups two days in a row.
Exercises for Arthritis:
Stretching/Range of Motion Exercises
This can consist of simply rolling the shoulders and neck, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stretching helps with flexibility and can help reduce stiffness in the joints. This is a great way to begin a workout, especially if strength training is next.
Strength Training Exercises
Strengthening the muscles around the joints can not only reduce pain but strengthening the muscles overall will help them protect and support the joints.
Performing exercise in the water can be beneficial for someone seeking low-impact exercise. The waters ability to support body weight can help with flexibility, conditioning and help reduce stress on the joints and stiffness.
Before starting any workout plan, ask a doctor to determine what is best for your RA symptoms. Regular exercise is beneficial in more ways than one. Not only can it help with arthritis symptoms, it positively impacts overall health as well.
7 Best Foods To Eat To Ease Arthritis Pain
- Cherry juice-In some studies, drinking tart cherry juice has been known to reduce inflammation. Be sure to buy the diet juice to avoid extra sugars.
- Spinach-this leafy green has antioxidants and compounds that can relieve inflammation.
- Walnuts-high in omega-3 fatty acids, this nut is nutrient-dense and loaded with compounds that can help with inflammation related to joint disease.
- Ginger-whether it is fresh, dried or powdered, it can be known to block the production of substances that increase inflammation and can aid in reducing the symptoms of arthritis.
- Fatty fish-ranging from sardines, salmon, and trout, these are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This can be known to decrease pain, stiffness and inflammation.
- Garlic-this is known as anti-inflammatory and can help reduce symptoms of arthritis. Adding more garlic to the diet can benefit overall health.
- Grapes-there are compounds in grapes that can be beneficial to treating arthritis, like resveratrol, which is found in the skin of grapes.
Below is a sample workout for beginners who are interested in helping arthritis pain and promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Start by taking the time to warm up the muscles by rolling the shoulders, neck and other joints that are stiff.
Warm Up Cardio:
Whether it’s using the treadmill or enjoying the fresh air, take ten minutes to do some walking or light jogging. If you’re on a treadmill, feel free to set it at an incline for a slightly more challenging walk. This is a great way to loosen up the muscles before strength training.
Start light on the weights, or even use body weight if desired. If you find them too easy, then pick a heavier set. The key is to strengthen the muscles around the joints, not to strain them.
Using a platform about a foot high, take one leg and step up while the other leg is left straight and in a “dangle” position. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat, eventually switching to other leg. Incorporate weights for more of a challenge.
With feet about shoulder-width apart, lower into a shallow squat while keeping knees and toes pointed straight ahead. Avoid doing deep squats, as this is will aggravate joints more than help them.