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The Importance of Exercising with Osteoarthritis

Exercising will not cause more pain

When you are diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, exercising may be far from your mind.  You may think that exercising will only cause you more pain, or you may believe that you just aren’t feeling up to it.  Physical activity is very important, and is one of the best tools you can use to effectively manage Osteoarthritis symptoms.  Inactivity can actually worsen arthritis symptoms, with consequences such as:

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Weight gain
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Impaired joint function
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Low immune system

     A moderate exercise program that combines cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength training reduces the adverse effects of arthritis.  You may want to consult with your doctor and a physical trainer before embarking on a new exercise regime.  You should start slow, and gradually increase the time of all exercises.  Low impact exercises like swimming and walking should be utilized for cardiovascular health.  These types of exercises are easy on the joints.  If you experience any pain, do not push forward.  Exercise aids in:

  • Reducing pain
  • Improving balance and posture
  • Increasing mobility
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Improving flexibility
  • Building muscle
  • Stimulating the production of synovial fluid; the cushioning of the joints
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Losing weight
  • Improving posture
  • Stress Management
  • Restful sleep patterns

 A safe and appropriate exercise program can improve daily living.  The benefits listed above are only a glimpse of the impact exercise can have on your health.  Exercise can also reduce the risk of diseases that are often associated with arthritis, such as osteoporosis. Importantly, individuals who exercise regularly have an improved outlook on their life.