Arthritis is a serious condition that can make even basic activities difficult. Staying active and healthy is important if you’re living with arthritis, but it can be challenging to find the right exercise routine. Luckily, there are plenty of options that can help you feel better and keep your joints healthy! Here’s our list of the best exercises to help those who suffer with the pain and inflammation that goes along with living with this condition.
Give Aqua Classes a go
Aqua aerobics is a low-impact exercise that is ideal for people with arthritis. If you’re a little over weight or have other joint problems, aqua aerobics can help as well.
Because the water provides support and buoyancy, it reduces the stress on your joints and muscles. This allows you to exercise without putting too much strain on your body. By moving in such a way that mimics land-based exercises, but with less impact on the joints, aqua aerobics is an ideal choice for anyone who would like to strengthen their muscles without straining their joints too much.
How Yoga Can help Arthritis
Yoga can help you feel less stressed because it promotes relaxation through deep breathing and meditation. The stretching exercises in yoga also have a positive effect on pain levels.
If you’re new to Yoga, try joining classes at your local Everyone Active centre.
Range-of-motion exercises are great for Arthritis
Range-of-motion exercises can help you increase flexibility, which is therapeutic for any arthritis affected joints. You can do these exercises anywhere, without equipment, and they’ll strengthen and stretch the muscles around your joints. These exercises also help with balance and coordination, so they’re great for preventing falls as well.
- Neck stretch: Slowly turn your head left and right while looking down at the floor, then slowly lift up your chin and look straight ahead into a mirror; repeat several times on each side.
Shoulder shrugs: Lift both shoulders up towards the ears until they touch; hold for 10 seconds; relax for five seconds before doing another set of 12 reps (about two minutes).
- Chest stretch: Stand with arms slightly bent at sides holding weights close to thighs (or use resistance bands instead), inhale deeply then slowly exhale while raising arms above head until fingers point forward or level with ears—stay in this position for 10 seconds then repeat eight times altogether (about five minutes).
Why Swimming’s great for Arthritis sufferers
Swimming is a great low impact exercise that offers many benefits to arthritis sufferers. Swimming effectively targets all the major muscle groups of your body, including your core and lower back. This makes it a full body exercise with little risk of overuse injuries.
This is especially important for people who have arthritic joints in their hips or knees and need to avoid high-impact activities like running. The water helps to support some of your weight as you move through the water and reduces stress on joints that may be affected by arthritis.
Swimming has been shown to help improve flexibility, strength and cardiovascular health which can lead to better sleep quality at night. It also burns calories so if combined with diet changes (such as eating less sugar) could aid in weight loss!
Try Walking more to help with Arthritis
Walking is a great way to get your body moving and improve your quality of life. It’s easy to do, but make sure to take it slow, so that you don’t overdo it.
- Walk as much as possible: Walking is one of the best exercises for arthritis because it promotes mobility in people who might otherwise be limited in their ability to move around. If you have access to areas where you can walk comfortably (or if you’re able to walk inside), walking every day will help improve circulation and keep your muscles strong.
- Walk at an appropriate pace: When starting out with walking exercises for arthritis, start by taking small steps and increasing the intensity gradually over time. This ensures that you’ll be able to maintain an active lifestyle despite having this condition!
- Walk on soft surfaces like grass or dirt paths instead of sidewalks made out of asphalt—this reduces pressure on joints while still providing resistance against gravity when going uphill or downhill. You may also want additional support underfoot if needed; try wearing supportive shoes with shock absorption features like gel inserts designed specifically for this purpose!
Build strength and endurance with these low impact exercises
- Aqua Aerobics. This is a great exercise for people with arthritis, especially those who have severe pain and limited mobility. The buoyancy of the water helps them to move their joints more easily so they can exercise for longer periods of time.
- Yoga. Yoga has been shown to reduce pain and improve flexibility, balance, strength, stamina, muscle tone and circulation in people who have arthritis or other joint problems.
- Swimming works all major muscle groups without putting stress on your joints while providing low-impact aerobic exercise that can help improve circulation. This helps reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis symptoms such as stiffness or swelling in the hands or feet caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
How Strength training Helps with Arthritis
Strength training is the key to arthritis relief. Doing strength exercises can help manage pain and stiffness, improve your range of motion, and reduce joint stress. Strengthening exercises are important for people with arthritis because they increase muscle mass, which can decrease the risk of osteoarthritis (OA).
Strength-training exercises include:
- Isometric resistance training – Any exercise that uses your own body weight (or a light weight) to strengthen specific muscles without movement
- Isotonic resistance training – Exercises that involve lifting weights against gravity
- Eccentric contraction – Lifting weights slowly while lowering them quickly
Try Cycling to help with your arthritis
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that can help build endurance and burn calories. If you have arthritis, cycling is a great option because it’s easy on your joints. You’ll be getting some fresh air while also clearing your head—not to mention the fact that it leaves plenty of room for friends and family members to join in!
Give Pilates a go
If you’re looking for an exercise that is low-impact and can be done anywhere, Pilates is the perfect choice. It focuses on core strength and flexibility, improving both your posture and flexibility while helping to prevent injuries. It can also help improve balance, back pain and joint stiffness.
Pilates can be done in a class or at home with the use of equipment such as mats and resistance bands. It is, however, important to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
Resistance exercises are a great way to build muscle strength and help with arthritis symptoms. For example, if you’re experiencing pain or stiffness in your knees, resistance exercises that target the quadriceps (the muscles on the front of your thighs) will help reduce pain and increase mobility in this area.
Here are some examples of effective resistance exercises:
- Leg press machine: This exercise is done by lying face up on a leg press machine while holding onto handles beside you. Slowly lower yourself down until your legs are bent at 90 degrees, then push back up again as high as possible without locking out (squeezing) at the top of each repetition. Aim for three sets of 8-12 repetitions per set with 30 seconds rest between each set.
- Standing calf raise: Stand on one leg using an elevated surface such as a step or weight bench for support; place a dumbbell in either hand so that it hangs straight down from shoulder height.
To perform this exercise correctly, raise both heels off ground until calves are parallel with floor; slowly lower heels back down until toes touch ground again.
Aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions per set with 45 seconds rest between each set.
Standing calf raises work best if done using heavier weights than when performing squats or lunges. This is because it targets smaller muscles near joints rather than larger ones farther away from them. This means less stress placed on joints like wrists/ankles which would normally cause more discomfort during traditional weightlifting routines
Stretching is really important
Stretching is a great way to improve flexibility, which can help with pain and range of motion. It’s also good for strengthening the muscles around joints. This is a key component in reducing symptoms of arthritis. Stretching can also improve balance and coordination, which can be useful when dealing with arthritis.
If you’re not sure where to begin with stretching, start by doing simple stretches like these:
- Sit on the floor with both feet flat and outstretched in front of you at shoulder width apart (or wider). Bend your knees and cross them at the ankles. Lean forward from your hips until you feel tension in your hamstrings (the back part of your thigh), keeping both legs fully extended as much as possible throughout this exercise. Then hold for five seconds before returning to starting position. Repeat 10 times if possible (but never stretch past discomfort).
- Stand up straight against a wall; place one hand against it while bending forward at the waist until reaching an angle that brings some light tension into your lower back muscles. Hold that position for 15 seconds before slowly returning upright. Repeat three times per side if able — but never go beyond what feels comfortable!
The best exercises for arthritis pain are those that don’t put too much stress on joints. So if you want to exercise, start slowly and build up over time to more strenuous exercise. If you’re not sure which exercises will work best for your arthritis condition, talk to your doctor about what will be most helpful in relieving your symptoms.