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Exercise and arthritis seem like two things that should not go together, like peanut butter and salsa or pinkie toes and end tables. If you have aching joints that aren’t what they used to be, why would you even want to move them more, right? However, not only is exercise shown to help joints stay supported and flexible, it can also keep overall pain down as well.
We’re not saying you have to run a marathon, of course. The best kind of exercise for arthritis is one that will get you moving without placing too much extra stress on affected joints. Simple walking is perhaps the first go-to for effective exercise. You can choose to go on a treadmill, giving you control over speed and intensity, or you can go for a scenic stroll outdoors and take in the stress-relieving effects of nature. If you need further weight relief on your joints, try learning how to walk in water.
If you want to get a bit more varied in the water, swimming is also an excellent activity that supports your joints while building endurance. For more of a focus on certain joints or parts of the body, a water aerobics class might be able to provide you the targeting you need.
Back on land, other classes can also help you achieve relaxation, pain relief, toning, and balance. Studies show that yoga can be helpful in reducing the progress of rheumatoid arthritis, while tai chi is effective at sharpening the connection between mind and body, decreasing stress and improving awareness. Ideally, you would want to find an instructor who keeps your condition and needs in mind, and who is willing to show you modified techniques if necessary.
Before picking up any new form of exercise for aching joints, however, it’s best to consult with an expert to make sure the activity is safe. For help and advice regarding arthritis pain and treatments, call Dr. Kevin Powers at (812) 333-4422. Our Bloomington office will be happy to help.