A regular exercise routine is an important part of any arthritis treatment plan. Exercises for arthritis can improve overall function and relieve symptoms such as pain, discomfort, and stiffness.
Consistent exercise will tone your body, boost energy levels, and promote a healthy body weight. You’ll improve flexibility and mobility, build muscle and bone strength, and boost your overall physical and mental well-being.
Additional benefits include more quality sleep, better balance, and bone strength. Read on to take a look at some of the best exercises for arthritis and add them to your daily routine today.
Do moderate, low-impact exercises to soothe tired, achy joints. Avoid activities that are too strenuous, and be careful not to overstretch, especially if you have hypermobile joints. Avoid being sedentary, and make a point to do some type of physical activity daily.
The goal of these exercises is to heal, energize, and invigorate your body to manage your symptoms. Be gentle on yourself and don’t extend beyond your limits.
Consider using a heat pack for 20 minutes before exercise and an ice pack for 20 minutes afterward.
Do these exercises a couple of times a day. Ideally, you could do them upon waking, during the day, and before bed. On days when time is limited, set aside at least 10 minutes to move your body.
1. Child’s Pose
This yoga pose promotes relaxation relieves tension in your neck, low back, and hip flexors. For added comfort, place a cushion under your forehead, hips, or thighs.
2. Neck rotations
Neck exercises can help to relieve tension in your head, neck, and shoulders.
3. Downward-Facing Dog
If you have concerns with your wrists, turn your fingers out to the sides slightly or walk your hands forward. You could also use yoga blocks or wedges to alleviate wrist pressure.
Try this modified Downward-Facing Dog for a slightly different stretch.
4. Door presses
This exercise strengthens your shoulder joints.
5. Knuckle bends
6. Finger bends
Your hands are in constant use, so it’s vital to do hand exercises to keep them flexible, pain-free, and functional.
7. Fingertip touches
8. Fist stretch
To deepen this stretch, you can lift your back knee and extend your arms overhead.
10. Knee-to-chest stretch
Use cushions, chairs, and straps to your advantage. These props can help you to feel more comfortable during long stretches, allowing you to go deeper and get the most benefits. Have a wall or object within reach and have someone nearby, if possible.
Talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting any new exercise routine. They can help you develop a plan that best accommodates your individual needs, which may include modifications.
Don’t overdo it, especially when you’re beginning. Take a rest or break when needed. Avoid exercises that aggravate your symptoms or cause you discomfort, swelling, or redness in your joints. Stop if you experience sharp, intense pain.
Don’t push yourself beyond your limits, which can vary between days. You may find your symptoms are more pronounced during certain types of weather or times of the day. Take this into consideration when planning your sessions.
Begin each session with a warmup and follow with a cooldown. This allows you to gradually ease your way in and out of activity. Slowly increase the duration and intensity of your exercise routine as you progress.
To enhance your exercise program, you may find it beneficial to work with a fitness professional. They can personalize your training to suit your unique needs and goals.
A trainer can give you guidance, feedback, and modification options. They’ll check to make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly and safely, which optimizes the benefits of your workout and lowers your chance of injury.
A fitness pro can also help you to stay motivated and hold you accountable for your growth and success. They’ll be up to date on the latest research and trends, keeping you in the know.
Take charge of your health to manage your arthritis symptoms and know that success, improvements, and healing are possible. Do these exercises regularly to see the best results. Listen to your body and do what feels most appropriate on any given day.
Stay well-hydrated and follow a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include anti-inflammatory herbs and drink plenty of water. Stay consistent and enjoy the benefits of your dedication and hard work.