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Published on May 29, 2020

Exercise for Arthritis

aqua aerobics

Working those achy joints

Achy muscles. Stiff joints. Pain doing everyday tasks.

More than 21 million people suffering from osteoarthritis know the feeling.

And, often, when coping with daily pain and soreness, the inclination is to move as little as possible.

Minimal movement means protection of your joints and less pain, right? Not according to Craig McAllister, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at EvergreenHealth.

“Many people think they shouldn’t exercise if they have osteoarthritis,” Dr. McAllister says. “But exercise is actually very helpful to the joints. It keeps the joints strong, prevents thinning of bones, maintains muscle strength, and increases coordination.”

Dr. McAllister explains that exercise keeps the joints and muscles from getting stiff and weak and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Weak muscles and extra weight can put added stress on your joints or cause arthritis to get worse faster.

The key is to find exercises that are low impact and strengthening without putting stress on your body.

Good low-impact options include:

  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics

Need more ideas? Check out the Arthritis Today website, which features several exercise videos you can watch online.

While exercise is the key to mobility with osteoarthritis suffers, Dr. McAllister cautions patients to balance exercise with rest.

So don’t overdo it and, before long, you’ll find that regular exercise improves the overall quality of your life in several ways, including reduced pain, decreased stress, and better sleep.

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