Exercising with arthritis

The chiropractors at Synergy Health Centre offer a variety of services and benefits, including in the treatment of Arthritis. We have all heard that exercise is good for us, it keeps us flexible and reduces the risk of illness, but for people with arthritis, the benefits of regular exercise are enormous. According to Arthritis Care, following a regular exercise program enables people to live a more pain-free, independent life. The benefits include:

  • better range of movement and joint mobility;
  • better pain management;
  • increased muscle strength;
  • stronger bones – which can help protect against osteoporosis;
  • weight control;
  • improved balance and co-ordination;
  • reduced stress;
  • improved sleep patterns;
  • increased energy levels;
  • better breathing; and,
  • improved self-esteem.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that “Safe, enjoyable physical activity is possible for most adults with arthritis.” Adults with arthritis should follow a program that meets their personal health goals and matches their abilities. Remember to start slow and pay attention to how your body tolerates activity. The most important thing to remember is to find out what works best and is comfortable for you.

There are three types of arthritis-friendly activities including:

  • Aerobic activity is also called cardio, endurance, or conditioning exercise – any activity that makes your heart beat faster and makes you breathe a little harder than when you are sitting, standing, or lying. Try to do an activity that is moderate or vigorous intensity and that does not twist or pound your joints too much.
  • Muscle strengthening activities are especially important for people with arthritis because having strong muscles takes some of the pressure off the joints.
  • Balance activities are crucial as many older adults and some adults with arthritis and other chronic diseases may be prone to falling. Balance activities can be part of your aerobic or your muscle strengthening activities.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends these options:

  • Fitness Activities – biking, golf, hiking, lap swimming, running, tennis, and walking.
  • Cardio Machines – elliptical, rowing, stair stepper, stationary bike, and treadmill.
  • Group Fitness – aerobics/dance/step, aquatics, martial arts, Pilates, Tai Chi, and Yoga.
  • Strengthening Activities – body weight exercises, exercise ball, free weights, resistance bands, and weight machines.

If you have arthritis, in addition to staying active, flexibility exercises are also important. Doing daily flexibility exercises for all upper (e.g., neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger) and lower (e.g., low back, hip, knee, ankle, and toes) joints of the body helps maintain essential range of motion.

Finally, if you have arthritis or another chronic health condition, health care providers like chiropractors and certified exercise professionals can answer your questions about how much and what types of activity are right for you. Synergy Health Centre programs are tailored to your specific needs for optimal health and fitness results with over 10 structured health care disciplines, over 25 therapies and treatment techniques, including sports rehab, 4 unique technologies, and a constantly growing team. If you think chiropractic is right for you, contact Synergy Health Centre at 250-727-3737 today.

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