The pain of arthritis affects many of us, whether it is general osteoarthritis or something more complicated like rheumatoid arthritis. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there is one thing you can do to fight the pain and stiffness that comes with arthritis; get moving. The benefits of exercise are limitless and with consistency you will start to notice decreasing stiffness and pain, increasing strength and balance, and weight loss, which will decrease the load our joints have to carry. Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean an hour long class at the gym. The point is to move your joints and stretch your muscles.
Moving your body is easier than you think. Walking is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to begin an exercise routine. It is also a low impact aerobic activity which is optimal for arthritis sufferers. The beginning can be the hardest part of getting into a routine. Try to start by taking a walk to your mailbox two times a day, then work your way up to walking down the street and back to your house, then around the block and so on. Another way to get moving is to head to your local community pool or sign up for the YMCA and attend one of their water aerobics classes, which is another excellent low impact exercise. If you want to stay at home, there are wonderful DVDs that are low impact but still keep you moving. Try any one of Leslie Sansone’s Walk it Off videos or try out yoga for a great stretch and strengthening routine. Rodney Yee has a great beginners yoga video to help stretch your muscles. It is best to start out low and slowly increase the impact and length of time. These are just a few easy ways to begin to move and you will not only see the benefits on the scale, but your joints will thank you as well. If you have any questions about exercise or contact information, talk with your provider. As always talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise program to see if you are healthy enough for aerobic activity.
-Catie Lee, MSN, NP-C
About Center for Spine, Joint and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation:
Center for Spine, Joint and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation offers nonsurgical advanced treatment for painful conditions of the neck, back, shoulders, hands, hips, knees, and feet. Phone: (615) 872-9966 http://www.sjnmr.com Fax: (615) 872-9967