Best exercises for dealing with arthritis

Arthritis can make simple daily activities quite painful. The good news? Strength training and stretching can help improve your physical health and boost your mood. Here are some of the best exercises for dealing with the discomfort and pain of arthritis.

Best exercises for dealing with arthritis

[Photo credit: iStock.com/vgajic]

Walking

Walking is good for almost every type of arthritis pain. It's also great for strengthening your bones and getting your heart pumping.

To perform this exercise:

  • It's best to walk at a fairly quick pace to get the most out of moving around.
  • Try doing at least three to four sessions per week for at least 30 minutes at a time.
  • If it's too cold to walk outside, you can try walking in indoor places, like malls, or heading to the gym to walk on the treadmill.

Chair stand

The chair stand is a good and simple exercise for people who have arthritis pain in their legs and want to build strength in their leg muscles.

To perform this exercise:

  • Practice sitting down and standing up from a regular chair at a normal height.
  • Stand up and sit down slowly, about 10 to 15 times.
  • Practice slow, controlled motions and you will begin to see improvements in your muscles over time.

Water aerobics

Water aerobics is one of the best exercises for anyone suffering from joint pain, as the buoyancy of the water tends to reduce the impact on areas such as the knees, hips and spinal column.

To perform this exercise:

  • Head to a lap pool and walk from one side of the pool to the other underwater, keeping a brisk pace.
  • You won't feel any pressure on your joints and you will build strength in your whole body from the resistance of the water.

Check with your municipal recreational and athletics facilities. Often there are organized water aerobics classes that you can join.

Stretching

Everyone suffering from arthritis should know the importance of stretching. You can stretch either standing up or sitting in a chair.

To perform this exercise:

  • Stretch your arms out above your head and clasp your hands together with your palms facing upward.
  • Press them toward the ceiling as far as you can to feel a stretch through your arms, shoulders and back.
  • Then try bending gently at the waist and, allowing your hands to fall toward the ground, try touching your toes.
  • Be careful not to strain your muscles as you are stretching, as this could cause further injury.

When it comes to better managing your arthritis pain, exercise is key. To make sure you don't cause yourself any injuries, remember to always exercise gently and use caution.

What's more, always consult a qualified healthcare provider before starting any exercise program, changing your diet or taking supplements of any kind. The general information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, instruction or treatment.

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