Arthritic joints typically present redness, swelling, pain and stiffness. For this reason, exercising with arthritic joints can be a challenge! But dealing with arthritis symptoms doesn't mean you should stop exercising or give up on your favourite activities…
In fact, exercising keeps your joints in tip-top condition and supports your overall bone, muscle and connective tissue health. In the long run, staying active can even reduce arthritis symptoms. Read on for four tips for exercising with arthritic joints.
Four steps to exercising with arthritic joints
#1: Do dynamic stretches before working out
Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching is a movement-based type of stretching. This type of stretching is ideal for warming up your joints and muscles for more complex or intense movements. Spend about 10 minutes prior to your workout doing dynamic stretches such as lunges, high steps and arm circles to reduce your risk of pulling a muscle or getting injured.
#2: Wear a supportive knee sleeve
If exercises such as walking, running, cycling or yoga bring about knee pain
, you should consider getting a supportive knee sleeve. Knee sleeves offer compression, support and alignment for your knee joint, which helps prevent swelling and pain
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#3: Include different workouts in your routine
While it’s easiest to stick to the same tried-and-tested workout routine, the best way to protect arthritic joints and build overall fitness is to include a combination of aerobic, strength and flexibility activities. For example, spend a portion of your routine doing each of these activities, or dedicate a day to each activity.
#4: Do lighter activities during flare-us
When your arthritic joints flare up, exercising may be the last thing you feel like doing. Instead of avoiding exercise
altogether, rather opt for lower-impact activities such as swimming or pedalling on the stationary bike. These lighter activities will help stimulate joint recovery without making your arthritic joints worse.
If you suffer from arthritic joints, be sure to keep these tips in mind when you’re exercising.
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