Stay Moving

If you suffer from arthritis, you may sometimes avoid exercise or slow down your workouts.

Arthritis and exercise

Arthritis is caused by a loss of cartilage, which is designed to cushion the joints as you move. If you suffer from arthritis, you may sometimes avoid exercise or slow down your workouts for fear of causing pain or damage to your joints. However, regular exercise—of the right kind—can actually help reduce the pain and stiffness from arthritis.

Cold weather options for arthritis patients

If you find that motivating yourself to exercise regularly is difficult, it’s likely that low temperatures or icy weather conditions only increase your reluctance to engage in outdoor fitness activities. Fortunately, there are plenty of indoor exercises from which arthritis patients can benefit. Whether working out at your local health club or simply doing jumping jacks at home, you’ll discover that a regular exercise regime not only improves your arthritis symptoms but also contributes to your overall health and well-being.

Exercise machines
The best exercise machines for arthritis sufferers include:

  • Stationary bikes
  • Elliptical trainers
  • Rowing machines

Although some exercise machines should be avoided because they can exacerbate joint pain, these three machines are low-impact and promote a full range of motion, reducing the amount of weight your joints have to bear.

Fitness club or group activities
If you like to work out with a group, the following activities are recommended for those with arthritis symptoms:

  • Aqua aerobics
  • Pilates
  • Tai chi

The Arthritis Foundation endorses flexibility exercises because they improve range of motion and protect joints from injury. Yoga, for example, increases muscle strength and heightens your tolerance for arthritic pain. The fluid, low-impact movements of tai chi also help relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis. In addition, pilates helps improve muscle strength through slow, controlled movements.

Daily indoor activities and exercises
The following simple activities can help improve posture and balance, increase joint flexibility, and promote strong muscles:

  • Climbing stairs
  • Jumping rope
  • Jogging in place
  • Mall walking
  • Torso twists
  • Jumping jacks
  • Neck rolls
  • Vacuuming
  • Stretching exercises
  • Hand motion exercises

So don’t let winter slow you down! With the wide range of indoor exercises and fitness activities available, all you need to do now is determine the ones that are right for you.


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